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Tuesday
Nov082016

A HAPPY SHABBOS

By Nechama Bar

One day, someone who was not a Lubavitcher Chassid walked into 770. He went over to Rabbi Groner, the Rebbe’s secretary, and told him that he was planning a business trip to Europe.

“Please arrange a private audience for me with the Rebbe,” he requested. “I would like to ask the Rebbe for a bracha for the trip.”

The secretary looked through the packed appointment book and finally managed to find him a few minutes with the Rebbe. The yechidus was arranged for a Sunday.

Although the man was not a Chabad Chassid, he had heard many miracle stories about the Rebbe. He prepared himself for his meeting with the Rebbe. In the few days that remained, he spent more time learning Torah, he said a lot of T’hillim, and tried to concentrate when he davened.

When the appointed day and time arrived, he entered the Rebbe’s room (called Gan Eden HaElyon by the Chassidim). The Rebbe welcomed him graciously and the man felt like he was the Rebbe’s only son. He told the Rebbe about his upcoming trip.

The Rebbe listened and then asked. “Where will you spend next Shabbos?”

The man said, “According to my plan, I will leave Europe on Thursday and arrive in New York on Friday morning. Shabbos begins at seven o’clock, so there is no concern about chillul Shabbos. With Hashem’s help I will spend Shabbos with my family and even have plenty of time to get ready for Shabbos.”

The Rebbe gazed at him and listened to every word. When the man finished, the Rebbe asked again, “Where will you spend next Shabbos?”

The man did not understand why the Rebbe was asking again when he had already answered. He was not a Chassid and he did not realize that every word the Rebbe says is precise.

The man repeated what he said, that the flight was for Thursday and with Hashem’s help he would arrive on Friday and he would spend Shabbos with his family at home in New York.

The Rebbe listened and asked a third time, “Where will you spend next Shabbos?”

The man realized that the Rebbe had heard him and that something was behind the Rebbe’s question. He remained silent.

After a few seconds of silence, the Rebbe blessed him, “Hashem will help that wherever you will be, you will have a happy Shabbos.”

The man left the Rebbe’s room in confusion. He told R’ Groner what happened and said, “I don’t understand your Rebbe.”

This wasn’t the first time that the Rebbe said something that sounded strange which, in the end, was understood. He reassured the man, saying that surely they would soon see what the Rebbe meant.

The man flew to Europe, as planned. On Thursday, after he finished his business, he boarded the plane back to New York. The plane took off and everything seemed to be moving smoothly. The passengers on board were napping, eating, reading, when suddenly, the pilot announced that they were going to make an emergency landing in Greenland due to a problem with the plane. He reassured the passengers that the problem wasn’t dangerous and within a short time they would resume their flight to New York.

The emergency landing went well and the passengers breathed a sigh of relief.

Twelve o’clock noon on Friday, the man was still in the airport in Greenland. They finally heard the announcement over the loudspeaker that the flight to New York would be leaving shortly and the passengers should get ready to board.

He looked at his watch, made a quick calculation, and began to wonder whether he could board the plane. He spoke with the crew and they told him that the plane would land in New York on Friday after Shabbos began. He went over to the gentile supervisor and explained that for religious reasons he would not be able to board the plane. The supervisor accepted what he said but did not express any willingness to help him find a place to stay.

The man didn’t know what to do. After much searching he finally found a room in the airport with a sign, “No Entry.”

He opened the door and to his great surprise he saw a religious Jew with a beard sleeping on a plain wooden bed. At the sound of the door opening, the Chassid woke up and asked the man, “What are you doing here? And where are you planning on spending Shabbos?”

“I ended up here due to a mechanical glitch, and now, please tell me, what are you doing here?”

The Chassid smiled and said, “I am a shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. There is a military base here with many Jewish soldiers. The Rebbe sent me here to spend Shabbos with them and give them chizuk.

“You are invited to join me on Shabbos. I have just one problem. I have a special pass that enables me to enter the base, but I don’t have a pass for you. I will try to arrange it with the commander.”

The Chassid disappeared for a few minutes and then came back with the good news, “I got a pass for you!”

Throughout the Shabbos, the man tagged along with the Chassid. He enjoyed the sichos of the Rebbe and the Chassidic tales that the Lubavitcher told the soldiers. He took pleasure in seeing the soldiers listening closely to what the shliach had to say. It was an opportunity for him to see a shliach of the Rebbe in action and to get a taste of the tremendous work the Rebbe does through his shluchim.

Now the yechidus with the Rebbe was fully understood. The Rebbe had given him advance notice of his delay and had even blessed him with a happy Shabbos, and it was!

Upon his return to New York he hurried to 770 to tell R’ Groner about the Rebbe’s miracle and that is how we too got to hear another miracle story.

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