Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chof Ches Sivan

Rabbi Yosef Braun of the Tzemach Tzedek Shul in Sydney sent out a short description of the significance of 28th Sivan 5701 (1941) - the day the Rebbe and Rebbitzen arrived in the United States. The photo above is of the Serpo Pinto - the ship they travelled on. also has a short description here.

Rabbi Groner (our Rabbi Groner) often reminiscences about meeting the Rebbe at the ship when it arrived in NY. He was a 16 year old bochur who had just started learning in Tomchei Temimim and went along with the other yeshiva bochurim as well as the seniour chassidim sent by the Friediger Rebbe. I suppose that his retelling of this history has made this occasion stand out in my mind - maybe more so than some other dates.

Rabbi Braun tells the story:

The Rebbe and the Rebbetzin were in France during the early years of World War II. In 5701/1941, after tremendous effort on the part of the Previous Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn - who was already in the United States - the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin were able to travel to Portugal, from where they boarded a ship to the United States.
On 17 Sivan the Rebbe & Rebbetzin boarded the ship in Lisbon, Portugal on route to the United States. They were on the ship for 12 days, and the trip was under extreme dangerous conditions, with torpedoes very near. With Hashem's help the ship was not harmed by the Nazis Ym"s.
From on the ship the Rebbe sent a telegram to the Frierdiker Rebbe, which notified him that they had crossed over the treacherous waters of Europe.
On Monday, Chof Ches Sivan, at 10:30 a.m. the ship docked in New York Harbor.
The Previous Rebbe, because of ill health, was unable to greet his daughter and son-in-law personally. Instead, he sent four of his most eminent Chasidim to greet them. The Previous Rebbe informed them, "I am selecting you as my representatives to welcome my son-in-law, who is arriving tomorrow. I will reveal to you who he is: Every night he says the Tikkun Chatzot prayer over the destruction of the Holy Temple. He knows by heart both the entire Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds with their commentaries, and Maimonides' great Mishne Torah (code of Jewish law), and is expert in the works of Chabad philosophy!"
The 28th of Sivan became established as a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the rescue of the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin from the fires that raged in Europe.
It also marks the beginning of a new era in Chabad outreach with the establishment by the Previous Rebbe of the central Lubavitch educational and publishing departments, which he placed under the directorship of the Rebbe.
May the 28th of Sivan this year be the ultimate day of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the rescue of the Rebbe and the entire Jewish people from these last moments of exile, may Hashem send the redemption NOW!
(Courtesy of Eliezer Zaklikovski ,Shmais & Torah4blind)