Saturday, October 08, 2005

6 Tishrei: Yahrtzeit of Rebbetzin Chana

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6 Tishrei: Yahrtzeit of Rebbetzin Chana

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Sunday, Vov Tishrei marks 41 years since the passing of Rebbetzin Chana Schneersohn, mother of the Lubavitcher Rebbe King Moshiach.  The day will be marked by Chassidim around the world with farbrengens and special activities in Rebbetzin Chana's memory.

Brief biography of Rebbetzin Chana in full article.

Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson was born on the 28th of Tevet, 5640/1880, in Nikolaiev, a city near Odessa. In 1900, Rebbetzin Chana married the renowned scholar and kabbalist, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson. They had three sons, the eldest of whom was the Rebbe. The second son, Dov Ber, was killed by the Nazis and the youngest son, Yisroel Aryeh Leib, passed away in England in 1952.
In 1907, the couple moved to Yekatrinoslav (presently Dnepropetrovsk), where Rabbi Levi Yitzchok had been appointed to the prestigious post of Rav of this major Jewish community. For all practical purposes he was the spiritual leader of the entire Jewish population of the Ukraine.
Throughout the 32 years that her husband served as Rabbi of Yekatrinoslav, Rebbetzin Chana stood at his side, assisting in his holy work. The Rebbetzin had a good rapport with the members of their sophisticated congregation, and she communicated especially well with Jewish university students, in whom she took special interest, befriending them and trying her best to imbue them with the spirit of Torah.
In 1939, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was arrested because of his energetic work to preserve religious observance; a year later, he was exiled to a small village in the Republic of Kazakhstan. When Rebbetzin Chana learned of her husband's location, she joined him, paying no heed to the difficulties and danger involved.
Rebbetzin Chana made a valuable spiritual contribution to her husband, one from which the entire Jewish people benefited. Her son, the Rebbe, described this special contribution:
"In the remote Russian village where my father was exiled, there was no ink available. After my mother was permitted to join him, she gathered various herbs in the fields, and by soaking them made a sort of ink, which enabled my father to record his original Torah commentaries. My mother devoted her energies to this task despite their lack of even minimally sufficient amounts of bread and water."
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok passed away in exile in 1944. In 1947, Rebbetzin Chana succeeded, with tremendous difficulties, in emigrating from the Soviet Union. At the same time, she also managed to smuggle out her husband's writings at great danger to herself. Later that year she arrived safely in Paris where she was reunited with her eldest son, whom she had not seen for twenty years. The two traveled by ship to New York, where the Rebbetzin lived for the last seventeen years of her life.
Rebbetzin Chana passed away in the late afternoon on the Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the sixth of Tishrei, 5725/1964, at the age of 85.

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