On Tuesday morning, Sivan 3 (June 1), Chaya asked me if I would help her write a letter to the Rebbe. Her ninth birthday was two days after Shavuos and she wanted to ask for a brocha (blessing).

I told her that I could not and would not help her. “You must write to the Rebbe what you feel and what you want, in your own words. Even if the letter is not so good, I am sure the Rebbe will appreciate it all the more when he realizes that it is all your own composition.”

In her letter, Chaya was very considerate: she quite thoughtfully added vowels to all the Hebrew and Yiddish words. (As the Rebbe later remarked to me, “She wanted to make sure that I could read the Hebrew.”)

After the opening address, Chaya wrote:

My Birthday is on the 9th Sivan. I would like to ask for a blessing successful in my 10th year to learn well [and] have , good attributes and to be well and healthy and learn Torah and do mitzvahs.

Mrs. Krausz [the headmistress of Chaya’s school] asked me to tell you that we heard you on Lag B’omar speak about the Torah Secrets. There are 12 of them. I have learned them off by heart. Also regards from all the girls in the Lubavitch Foundation London.

Be well,

Chaya’s name followed (with the vowels, of course).

Early the next morning there was already a reply. Where Chaya had written “My birthday” the Rebbe wrote: hdvbn [customs], meaning that the birthday customs should be fulfilled, one of them being the giving of extra tzedokah. The Rebbe also sent her a bright shiny silver dollar (it was from 1882, and in mint condition), with the Rebbe indicating (in his handwriting): "And when you give the tzedokah, combine this enclosure too – the silver dollar – (or its value) and thank you. I will mention at the ohel."

One can only imagine the great excitement that this reply brought about! Chaya was a very lucky girl. I pointed out to her that after receiving such a unique and wonderful gift from the Rebbe, she should write a letter of thanks.

This is what she wrote:

To Rebbe. may he live until 120.

I hope you are well.

Thank you very much for the silver dollar. I have never seen one in my life before. I think it is a very nice thing to answer a letter with.

Before every yom tov, we have always endeavored to send flowers to the Rebbetzin. We started this practice before we met the Rebbetzin in person. The Rebbe once remarked to me, “She [the Rebbetzin] knows who you are, because you always say it with flowers.”

So we trooped into Gil Hirsch’s flower shop (on Kingston Avenue) to order flowers for yom tov. Roselyn and I chose the roses, which we knew the Rebbetzin liked, and we wrote a card with our best wishes for yom tov. I suggested that Chaya and Golda, who were accompanying us, each send a rose to the Rebbetzin. They jumped at the opportunity with alacrity. I handed to each a card and told them to write a short message.

Chaya’s card read:

To the Rebbe Shlita and Rebbeson [sic],

I hope you are well, as on Shavuos we are told to have greens in our house because of Har Sinai

So here are a few roses.

Wishing you a happy Shavuous [sic].

Yenta Chaya bas Hinda Malka Lew.

Golda’s card read:

Golda Rivka

To the Rebbe Shlita and Rebbesean [sic].

I wish you a happy Shavuos and many returns.


Golda Rivka Lew.

The Rebbetzin was more thrilled with those cards than with the flowers. She later told us she was keeping them as permanent mementos.

As you can see from the above, the Rebbe and Rebbetzin adore children and love receiving letters from them. The Rebbe takes every opportunity to encourage the future mothers and fathers of our nation.