What the Rebbe informed Bentzion Chen, who moved to Kfar Chabad from Russia, about why some Russian immigrants to the U.S. had been afraid to consult with him at 770. Full Story
Mr. Bentzion Chen worked in Israel's aerospace trade for thirty-five years, during which era he published eight books in Russian on Judaism and Chasidism. because retiring, he has committed himself to spreading Torah among immigrants from the former Soviet Union. He become interviewed by means of JEM's My come upon venture in February of 2015.
i was born right into a Chabad-Lubavitch household in what become then referred to as Leningrad (and now is known as St. Petersburg). throughout my childhood, chasidim suffered drastically in Soviet Russia, as these were the years when the KGB mercilessly persecuted those that were intent on retaining the embers of Judaism burning.
just a few months before her wedding, my mother watched her father, Rabbi Yitzchok Raskin, as he was aggressively dragged from his home via KGB agents for the crime of teaching Torah underground. before he left, he managed to say to his children, "maintain the methods of your forefathers" — which earned him a blow from his captors. lamentably, these had been the final phrases they heard from him — they later discovered that he was murdered simply a few weeks after his arrest.
When World warfare Two ended, a treaty become signed between Poland and the Soviet Union enabling Polish citizens, who fled to Soviet territory right through the conflict, to come to their place of origin. Lubavitchers used this opportunity to arrange an in depth network of document forging, which enabled many to depart below the assumed identities of Polish citizens.
My parents additionally wanted to go away and, for that intent, we moved to the border city of Lvov where the community functioned. however before the arrangements could be made, the KGB found and my parents, amongst many others, were arrested on the can charge of treason. accordingly, at the age of 11, i was left without folks and needed to soar round from one relative's home to a further.After the loss of life of Stalin, lots of the prisoners who had been sent to labor camps had been launched, together with my folks, who have been freed after six years of imprisonment. a little while later, we moved to Tashkent, the place there became a big neighborhood of Lubavitchers.
I obtained married in Tashkent and commenced working as a technician in the Soviet Union's aerospace business. The entire time we had been hoping to go away. In our farbrengens, the participants would desire one one other that they should still at some point benefit to meet the Rebbe in the usa, and we even had a music that we might sing about this.
finally my wife and i and our two daughters have been granted an exit let. We went to Israel, where we settled in Kfar Chabad, and simply earlier than Passover of 1973, we traveled to long island to visit the Rebbe for the first time. Our dream of many years become ultimately fulfilled!
when we arrived, we requested a personal viewers. We have been staying at the domestic of my wife's cousin, Rabbi Gershon Jacobson, and he helped us get capable for our viewers. At his advice, we organized a written record of the entire subject matters we hoped to check with the Rebbe, as neatly because the many requests for blessings that other Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union had asked us to deliver earlier than the Rebbe. Rabbi Jacobson said that if we don't write these things down in develop, we might overlook them within the Rebbe's presence.
certainly, after we eventually got here into his workplace, i was so moved that i used to be unable to utter a notice. although, once I appeared at the Rebbe's heat face and his fatherly smile, I felt a calm come over me and that i became capable of communicate.
The Rebbe asked us many questions. He was very interested in lifestyles within the usa and desired to know how the chasidim there celebrated the holidays, what their farbrengens had been like, and the way they have been managing to maintain the Torah.
After we answered his questions, we requested the Rebbe to bless people who had given us their names. among them become the name of a pupil in the school where my wife worked; the boy become very ill and we submitted a letter from his parents to the Rebbe. The Rebbe examine the letter however didn't say anything. At that element, my wife spoke up, however the Rebbe most effective stated, "i do know; i was already asked."
unfortunately, after we acquired again, this child handed away. We understood that the Rebbe ought to have considered issues that others couldn't and that, during this case, he knew there become no probability of overturning the decree.
additionally in this conversation, I requested the Rebbe concerning the various job alternatives that were counseled to me in Israel — among which turned into a position within the aerospace business. i used to be inclined towards this field considering that I had journey in it, however there were different promising presents as well. The Rebbe asked me about the variety of americans who work during this business, and upon hearing that these have been tremendously-expert people, he recommended me to accept this position.
He spoke concerning the should attain out to the various enormously-proficient but secular immigrants coming to Israel from the U.S., announcing that we must ease their absorption procedure no longer most effective materially however also spiritually. however that they have been well-informed and had college degrees, most of them had been lacking basic skills of Judaism. The Rebbe counseled that we open centers the place we may train them Torah and Jewish history as a way to convey them nearer to Judaism.
The Rebbe additionally advised us, "In fresh years, many Jews have arrived in ny from cities within the Soviet Union where Chabad chasidim lived. and thru these chasidim, these individuals were related to me. however many have in no way come to see me. I've sent just a few of my disciples to ask them why they don't come, but the simplest reply has been: 'If we come, we received't have a decision but to exchange, and we're frightened of that…'"
After we left the Rebbe's office, I observed to my spouse, "here is very entertaining counsel, however why did the Rebbe suppose the need to tell us this at four o'clock within the morning? There have to be some significance to this."
It took several years, however finally I found out.
within the starting of the 1990s, when the large waves of Jewish immigrants were coming from the previous Soviet Union, I got here to remember we had to help them now not simply with their actual wants but with their spiritual needs as neatly — because the Rebbe had urged us. We needed to connect these Jews with him, as this could affect their connection to their heritage.
This then became my simple goal, and the impetus in the back of the books I published in Russian.
currently, a pal of mine from Moscow contacted me and told me that his daughter visited Israel with the Birthright application. earlier than departure, he gave her my e-book, The Rebbe You Don't recognize, a compilation of inspirational reports about the Rebbe. When she complete analyzing it, she gave the publication to her pal, but the friend lower back it, explaining, "I don't wish to read this. i'm afraid that if I examine it, i'll have to trade my culture…"
once I heard that, the Rebbe's words echoed in my ear. It jogged my memory how correct the Rebbe turned into and inspired me to enhance my efforts in continuing to unfold his message — since the more individuals be trained about the Rebbe, the extra linked they suppose to him, the greater they want to make positive adjustments in their lives by means of retaining Torah and its mitzvot.