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Thursday
Jan042018

HER LESSONS LIVE ON

The Chabad movement recently lost one of its powerful soldiers who worked tirelessly, quietly and modestly to spread the wellsprings and prepare the world to greet Moshiach. * Not surprisingly, during her brief illness, she managed to unite all Chabad Chassidim in their efforts to bring about her recovery. * Ad masai?! 

To write about the shlucha, Mrs. Chana Segal, and to addahto her name!? Just yesterday we said Thillim by Rashbi and were sure that this time, it would turn out wellIn the hopes that readers will learn from her, “and the living will take to heart,” this article was written with tears and turbulent emotions.

Mrs. Chana Segal a”h was a shlucha of the Rebbe in Rishon Letziyon alongside her husband, R’ Eliyahu. Before the Yomim Tovim, she became very sick and she parted hurriedly from her nine children shortly before flying to the U.S. She passed away in the hospital in Houston where she had been quickly brought Erev Yom Kippur due to her condition. The doctors in Eretz Yisroel had given up and going to Texas for an emergency operation was a last attempt to save her life.

In that final month, before her passing on 4 Cheshvan, all of Anash and the shluchim in Eretz Yisroel and the world rallied to save her life. Together, they donated more than half a million dollars to pay for treatment to save her life. Numerous t’fillos were said, books of T’hillim recited, shiurei Torah and Chassidus were learned aplenty for her recovery. During Tishrei, the family arranged a study campaign in 770 in which dozens of chapters of Tanya were learned every day by guests. We were all hopeful that a miracle would occur.

Mrs. Segal was the daughter of Rabbi Shneur Zalman Eliyahu, director of Ohr Menachem in Tzfas, and the mashpia Mrs. Chaya Rochel Hendel, director of N’shei Chabad in Tzfas. They are one of the founding families of the Chabad community in Tzfas and shluchim there.

TRUE FRIENDSHIP

Chani’s friend Mrs. Ruchi Weisfische (Goldstein) of Beitar Ilit, tells of the early years:

“Throughout our entire close acquaintanceship over a period of 20 years, Chani was a significant figure for her entire circle of friends and she was the backbone of all of them, socially and spiritually. The thing that most personified her was bringing what the Rebbe and Chassidus say to all the girls in the class, in a school where there were many girls who were not from Lubavitcher homes.

“I still have at home the book V’Ani S’filasi that I received from her as a bas mitzva gift, with her dedication. I showed it to my daughter when she celebrated her bas mitzva, as a way of demonstrating to her that there are friends who bring various presents, material ones that are fleeting, but she brought me something of importance, something spiritual, eternal, that is with me till today.

“Chani drew everyone close, wherever they were at. She would study with everyone for all the tests and it was important to her that all of them do well. She was always there for everyone and in a dignified way, both physically and emotionally, each one where they were at and with warmth. Chani was focused on the goal and did what had to be done with a big and happy heart, accompanied by a big smile and sense of shlichus.

“Chani loved peace. At the same time, she was strong in her principles. She didn’t debate and argue but had respect for all and explained things nicely. She had a ‘quiet force’ that pushed her forward, without whistles and bells, and she knew how to support and give strength to each one, wherever she was at, and to believe in her and give her the ability to grow.

“My younger sister shared with me her feelings and what she went through the year our father died. Chani was her mechaneches at the time and she knew how to give her the strength to handle it. She did not pity her and give her a feeling of ‘poor me.’ The opposite; she gave her a push to grow even as an orphan. ‘If that is where you are at, then Hashem gave you the ability to handle it,’ she told her in a way that made it apparent that these were words that came from the heart. She knew how to help her in her darkest hour.”

MENUCHAS EMES V’EMUNA

Childhood friends and sisters, Michal Almalem and Yael Cohen (nee Mor Yosef) remember Chani. They point out the name that was added to her for davening – Menucha, as typifying her, as we say in davening at Mincha on Shabbos, “menuchas ahava u’nedava, menuchas emes v’emuna, menuchas sholom, hashkeit va’vetach, menucha shleima … v’al menuchasam yakdishu es sh’mecha.

“Chani radiated so much love, refinement, and was a model of chesed in class. When it came to studying for tests, dozens of us learned with her in her house. She always checked to see who did not have someone to study with for the tests. She was a model of a Chassid p’nimi and she carried out each thing she did with sensitivity and pure truth, with exactness of time, with careful and organized action – shleimus. I was amazed by her davening, which was out loud and slow.

“As girls, we went together to a senior home. We met an old, childless woman who had no relatives in Eretz Yisroel. Chani was a ray of sunshine for her. She spoke to her in Yiddish and brought her and everyone joy by playing the accordion. This is a great loss and there is so much to learn from her.”

OUTSTANDING SHLUCHA IN THE KING’S ARMY

After getting married to Eliyahu Segal, son of Rav Binyamin Zev Segal, they went on shlichus to Rishon Letziyon. They set up a Chabad house in the Neurim and Ganei Esther neighborhoods where they worked hard and were mekarev many to Judaism. This was while Chani was a devoted mother to her children, investing tremendously in their chinuch, and keeping them home until age three.

Even after discovering she was sick, she hosted families from the neighborhood on Rosh HaShana. Mrs. Chava Lider, another shlucha in Rishon Letziyon, shares:

“We are all stunned and saddened. Chani, in her short life, accomplished what others do in 120 years. She was always relaxed while being utterly devoted to the Rebbe, to her beloved family and to the mekuravim. It was all done in good taste, calm, and pleasantness.

“She gave us a window to peek into the world of the righteous. We will learn from her – from her valuing of time, her endless faith, her constant doing of things l’chat’chilla aribber, her care for minor and major alike in halacha, from her modesty and from her all around way of being.”

When we spoke with other shluchim in Rishon Letziyon and women in the community, they were not yet able to put into words what they felt.

May Hashem say dai (enough) to our tzaros and may this be the last test in this long galus. May we march toward the Geula today with the Rebbe leading us, along with all the shluchim and shluchos who work with mesirus nefesh, with Chani among them, marching in the front row.

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