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Our Secret Guest: Reb Berke Chein

One day, my father came home and happily announced that he had been able to arrange for me to be in R. Berke’s class.
Suddenly, a police car pulled up. A man dressed in civilian clothing emerged. R. Berke sensed that they had come for him.
He was afraid to notify his family of his whereabouts, and so began a long period of separation, even from his wife.
When they saw me, they closed the door, and I realized that he was a Jew in hiding whose presence was a secret.
R. Berke was a living example of the saying: A chassid walks as a chassid, eats as a chassid, and sleeps as a chassid
As an additional precaution, he would don dirty rags to look as though he was homeless, tuck his beard into his coat, and walk to the river.
When R. Berke heard of some way to enhance his religious observance–a hiddur–he tended to adopt it immediately.
When R. Berke was able to appear in public, Lubavitch men and boys in Samarkand would enjoy his hearty farbrengens.

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