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Tuesday
Nov152016

SHNAS HAKHEL - THE MARGOLIOS FAMILY

One of our children was bothered by something and I suggested he write to the Rebbe. He wrote, and the clear answer amazed him and us. The Rebbe wrote a letter to a child who went to 770 for Pesach and said, surely when he returned home he shared the experiences he had in 770 with his friends and held a farbrengen. * Mrs. Chana Margolios relates about her family’s trip to the Rebbe for Hakhel

In previous years, I joined my parents innumerable times on trips to the Rebbe. For Hakhel 5748, our entire family went to the Rebbe and the Rebbe sent my father, RDovid Nachshon, the costs of all the tickets. Some time later, the Rebbes secretary, by instructions from the Rebbe, once again paid for everyones tickets. When my father said he had already received reimbursement, and asked why he was receiving it again, the secretary said we dont question the Rebbe.

With that sum we all went for the next Shnas Hakhel, which was unfortunately after Gimmel Tammuz.

Two years ago, we knew that for the next Hakhel year, if G-d forbid the Rebbe would not be nisgaleh yet, our entire family would go to Beis Chayeinu. We were not able to go for Tishrei 5776 because of the great crowding and lack of room. Chanuka wasn’t possible either because my husband, R’ Shlomo, operates the “Convoy of Light” for the Chabad Mitzva Tanks, so we decided it would be Pesach.

The preparations for Pesach weren’t easy but making Pesach at home isn’t easy either. We bought tickets and rented a clean and kashered apartment in Crown Heights.

We took one suitcase full of Pesach utensils and we boarded the plane a few days before Yom Tov. The children and we were happy and excited about the privilege of being with the Rebbe in a Hakhel year. From the moment we boarded the plane, continuing through our stay in 770 and until we returned home, we felt the Rebbe’s brachos accompanying us. We lacked nothing materially, and spiritually it was extra special. Everything went smoothly. When we were on the plane, we heard from people sitting near us that they paid double what we paid for our tickets.

The fact that the entire family went to the Rebbe was a huge experience, but the experiences that we merited in Beis Chayeinu were deep. When we arrived at 770 we tried to attend t’fillos with the Rebbe regularly. It wasn’t especially crowded so the children could attend farbrengens and be part of the holy atmosphere of Beis Chayeinu. We were all very excited.

During our visit, our four-year-old daughter kept asking, where is the Rebbe? She wanted to see the Rebbe. Whenever our two-year-old saw a picture of the Rebbe, he pointed and said, “Moshiach.” Their strong hiskashrus existed before the trip. We educated them this way and this was reinforced in a p’nimius’dike way after our family visit to 770.

One day, we sat together with the children and taught them the kuntres Beis Rabbeinu Sh’B’Bavel. We explained to the children why we don’t see the Rebbe and why this does not contradict our belief that the Rebbe is chai v’kayam and will come imminently and redeem us. It was enough for our children to see our mesirus nefesh to make this trip to the Rebbe and what we were willing to sacrifice for this, for them to value and connect to the Nasi Ha’dor and 770.

A few weeks ago, our eight-year-old son Mendy was bothered by something and I suggested that he write to the Rebbe. “You’ll do what the Rebbe tells you,” I advised him. He wrote and the clear answer astonished him and us. The Rebbe wrote a letter to a child who had been with him for Pesach and said surely, when he returned home, he would share his experiences in 770 with his friends and make a farbrengen.

This answer excited the entire family. This was a Hakhel year and it’s a mitzva for the king himself (according to certain halachic opinions) to gather the people. And here, a child wrote a few months after the trip, and the Rebbe was reminding him about that visit. It greatly encouraged him.

We see the benefits of the trip in daily life. We saw an immediate improvement in our children’s behavior, in learning and in a more serious attitude toward everything connected with the Rebbe. The trip entailed giving up many things on our part and quite a bit of sacrifice, but it was all worth it to be able to spend time in the dalet amos of the Rebbe in this special year.

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