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Tuesday
Nov192013

IN BUBBY’S WASHING MACHINE YUD-TES KISLEV

I was looking forward all week to my visit today at my grandfather’s houseIt looks as though you can’t wait, said my grandfatherreading my thoughts. He led me right over to the washing machine.

L’Shana Tova in the learning of Chassidus and the ways of Chassidus may you be written and inscribed! said my grandfather heartily as I walked into the living room. The truth is, after what the machine showed me the previous week, I was looking forward all week to my visit today at my grandfather’s house. It looks as though you can’t wait, said my grandfather, reading my thoughts. He led me right over to the washing machine.

This time, Bubby joined us, standing on the side. Zaidy, told me that you really enjoyed the machine, she said, while serving me the cookies she made.

A washing machine that shows events of the past is not something you see every day, I said, and we all laughed

Do you want to press the button? my grandfather asked. Before he had finished his sentence, I had already stuck out my finger and pressed the button.

Isru Chag Sukkos 5559” said the letters in the window of the machine. A few seconds went by and the town of Liadi appeared. Here and there were Chassidim dismantling their sukkos. Others were taking their bags and returning home after spending Tishrei with the Rebbe

Suddenly, without prior warning, a black wagon harnessed to two horses disturbed the tranquil scene. Where were they heading? To the home of the Alter Rebbe. The Alter Rebbe could be seen coming out of his house, accompanied by two soldiers and then getting on to the wagon.

After repeated slander on the part of the Misnagdim to the government, explained my grandfather, that the Alter Rebbe was sending money to the Turkish government, which was the enemy of the Russians at the time, he was taken to prison.

The real reason for his imprisonment had to do with a Heavenly accusation against the Alter Rebbe about his spreading Chassidus. On the last day of his imprisonment, he was visited by his teachers, the Baal Shem Tov and the Mezritcher Maggid. They told him about the Heavenly accusation that landed him in jail.

The Alter Rebbe asked them if he should stop spreading Chassidus when he was freed. They told him, Since you began, do not stop. On the contrary, spread it more than before.’” 

The machine shook. The letters Yud-Tes Kislev 5559” appeared on the screen. The streets of Liadi were full of dancing Chassidim. The news had quickly spread. After fifty-three days of worrying and prayers for the Rebbe, the Alter Rebbe was freed. Now he was in the home of the Chassid, R’ Mordechai of Liepli. The Chassidim’s joy was boundless, and until today we celebrate the 19th of Kislev as Rosh HaShana of Chassidus.

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