Current Issue

 Click here to subscribe.

Share

Search
BeisMoshiach.org
Web
Tags
"Misnagdim” #1000 #1001 #1002 #1003 #1004 #1005 #1006 #1007 #1008 #1009 #1010 #1011 #1012 #1013 #1014 #1015 #1016 #1017 #1018 #1019 #1020 #1021 #1022 #1023 #1024 #1025 #1026 #1027 #1028 #1029 #1030 #1031 #1032 #1033 #1034 #1035 #1036 #1037 #1038 #1039 #1040 #1041 #1042 #1043 #1044 #1045 #1046 #1047 #1048 #1049 #1050 #1051 #1052 #1053 #1054 #1055 #1056 #1057 #1058 #1059 #1060 #1061 #1062 #1063 #1064 #1065 #1066 #1067 #1068 #1069 #1070 #1071 #1072 #1073 #1074 #1075 #1076 #1077 #1078 #1079 #1080 #1081 #1082 #1083 #1084 #1085 #1086 #1088 #1089 #1090 #1091 #1092 #1093 #1094 #1095 #1096 #1097 #1098 #1099 #1100 #1101 #1102 #1103 #1104 #1106 #1107 #1108 #1109 #1110 #1111 #1112 #1113 #1114 #1115 #1116 #1117 #1118 #1119 #1120 #1121 #1122 #1123 #1124 #1125 #1126 #1127 #1128 #1129 #1130 #1131 #1132 #1133 #1134 #1135 #1136 #1137 #1138 #1139 #1140 #1141 #1142 #1143 #1144 #1145 #1146 #1147 #1148 #1149 #1150 #1151 #1152 #1153 #1154 #1155 #1156 #1157 #1158 #1159 #1160 #1161 #1162 #1163 #1164 #1165 #1166 #1167 #1168 #1169 #1170 #1171 #1172 #1173 #1174 #1175 #1176 #1177 #1178 #1179 #1180 #1181 #1182 #1183 #318 #319 #350 #383 #390 #550 #560 #594 #629 #642 #776 #777 #778 #779 #780 #781 #782 #783 #784 #785 #786 #787 #820 #823 #824 #825 #826 #827 #828 #829 #830 #831 #832 #833 #834 #835 #836 #837 #838 #839 #840 #841 #842 #843 #844 #845 #846 #847 #848 #849 #850 #851 #852 #853 #854 #855 #856 #857 #858 #859 #860 #861 #862 #863 #864 #865 #866 #867 #868 #869 #870 #871 #872 #873 #874 #875 #876 #876 #877 #878 #879 #880 #881 #882 #883 #884 #885 #886 #887 #888 #889 #890 #891 #892 #893 #894 #895 #896 #897 #898 #899 #900 #901 #902 #903 #904 #905 #906 #907 #908 #909 #910 #911 #912 #913 #914 #915 #916 #917 #918 #919 #920 #921 #922 #923 #924 #925 #926 #927 #928 #929 #930 #931 #932 #933 #934 #935 #936 #937 #938 #939 #940 #941 #942 #943 #944 #945 #946 #947 #948 #949 #950 #951 #952 #953 #954 #955 #956 #957 #958 #959 #960 #961 #962 #963 #964 #965 #966 #967 #968 #969 #970 #971 #972 #973 #974 #975 #976 #977 #978 #979 #980 #981 #982 #983 #984 #985 #986 #987 #988 #989 #990 #991 #992 #993 #994 #995 #996 #997 #998 #999 1 Kislev 10 Kislev 10 Shvat 10 Shvat 10 Teives 11 11 Nissan 112 Tammuz 12 Tammuz 13 Iyar 13 Tishrei 14 Kislev 15 Elul 15 Menachem-Av 15 Shvat 17 Tammuz 18 Elul 19 Kislev 2 Iyar 20 Av 20 Mar-Cheshvan 20 Menachem-Av 22 Shvat 24 Teives 25 Adar 27 Adar 28 Nissan 28 Teives 29 Elul 3 3 Tammuz 33 Tammuz 352 5 Teives 6 Tishrei 7 Adar 770 864 865 881 9 Adar 9 Av 9 Kislev 903 Acharei Acharei-K'doshim Achdus Adar Ahavas Yisroel Alef-Beis All Jews Shall Rise Alter Rebbe Amalek Argentina Arizal army Artwork Aseres HaDibros Australia Avoda Zara B’Chukosai B’Shalach Baal Shem Tov baal t'shuva Baba Sali Balak BaMidbar bar mitzva Basi L'Gani B'Chukosai be Bein HaMeitzarim Beis HaMikdash Beis Nissan Beth Rivkah B'Haalos'cha B'Har B'Har-B'Chukosai Birthday Bitachon Blindness Bo B'rachos Brazil brit milah Brussels B'Shalach Canada chai v'kayam Chanuka Chassidic Rabbis Chayei Sara Chernobil chesed Chevron children chinuch Chitas Choshen Chukas Churban controversy convert Dan Diary of the late R’ Saadya Maatuf Dollars dreams D''varim Editorial Editor's Corner Eikev Elections Elul Emor Europe Family Purity fire France free choice Gaza Gentiles Georgia Gulf War Gush Katif Haazinu Hakhel Halvayas Hameis Hashavas Aveida HaYom Yom Hebron hiskashrus Holy Temple Honesty Honoring Parents Hospitality IDF Igrot Kodesh India Intermarriage Internet Iran Iron Curtain Israel Japan Jewish Refugee Crisis Kabbala K'doshim Kfar Chabad Ki Savo Ki Seitzei Ki Sisa KIDDUSH LEVANA Kiryat Gat Kislev kKi Sisa Kohen Gadol Korach korbanos KOS SHEL BRACHA Krias Shma K'vutza Lag B'Omer lashon ha'ra Lech Lecha letter Litvishe maamer Machatzis HaShekel mahn Mar-Cheshvan marriage Massei Matot Mattos Mattos-Massei Menachem Av Menora Metzora Mexico Mezuzah Miami MiKeitz MIkvah Mishkan Mishpatim Mitteler Rebbe Mitzva Tank Mitzvah Tanks Mivtza Kashrus MIvtza Neshek Mivtza T’fillin Mivtza Tefilin Morocco Moshe Rabbeinu Moshiach & Geula Moshiach Seuda music Names Napoleon Naso Nazi Holocaust niggunim Nissan Nitzavim Nitzavim-VaYeilech Noach Noachide North Africa olive oil painting Parshas Parah parshas re'eh Parshas Zachor Pesach Pesach Sheini Pinchas Pirkei Avos P'kudei Poland prayer Prison prophecy Purim R’ Avrohom Schneersohn Rabbanus Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Rabbi Shlomo Galperin Rambam Ramban Rashbi Rashi Rebbe Rebbe Maharash Rebbe Rashab Rebbe Rayatz Rebbe Rayatz & Joint Rebbetzin Chana Rebbetzin Chaya Muska Rebbetzin Rivka Red Heifer Reform movement R'ei Rishon L'Tzion Rosh Chodesh Rosh HaShana Russia S’firas HaOmer Samarkand seifer Torah s'firas ha'omer Shabbos Shabbos Bereishis Shabbos Chazo Shabbos Chazon Shabbos Hagadol Shabbos Nachamu shalom bayis Shavuos Shekalim shiduchim Shlach shleimus ha'Aretz shliach shlichus Shmini Shmita Shmos Shoftim shtus Shvat simcha Simchas Torah South Africa Sukkos summer summer camp tahalucha Talmud Torah Tanya Tazria-Metzora te Tefila Tehilim Teives Terror teshuva Tetzaveh t'fillin the soul tisha b'av Tishrei Toldos Tomchei T'mimim Truma t'shuva tTruma Tzanz Tzav Tzedaka Tzemach Tzedek Tzfas tzimtzum Tzitzis Tzniyus Ukraine undefined Upsherinish VaEira VaEs'chanan VaYakhel VaYakhel-P’kudei VaYechi VaYeilech VaYeira VaYeishev VaYeitzei VaYigash VaYikra VaYishlach Vocational Schools Winter women Yechidus Yerushalayim Yeshiva Yisro Yom Kippur Yom Tov Zionism Zohar Zos HaBracha. B'Reishis סיביר
Visitor Feed
Friday
Feb282014

THE BELZER AND THE CONSUL

In a Heavenly-inspired yechidus, the Rebbe foresaw the future for the Jewish community along the Iraqi border. A Belzer Chassid traveled to Cordoba, Spain, the city of the Rambam, to supervise the production for Kosher L’Pesach oil, and he found himself being watched by a suspicious-looking Arab. When he placed his hands on the man’s notepad, he was amazed to discover that his fears were way off the mark… And what did all this have to do with the Rebbe MH”M’s shlichus to repair a mikveh located in a place where not a single Jew lived? An amazing Baal Shem’ske Maaseh about the Rebbe’s concern for every Jew. 

It’s already become an unofficial custom: When a Chassid meets a Jew who was privileged to visit the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, he inquires about what the Rebbe told him, what he saw, and what he felt. Deep within his heart, he hopes that the person will reveal a special story that he had never heard before, a personal story about his connection with the leader of the generation. 

I can personally testify to the fact that I have frequently met Jews on my mivtzaim activities who at first glance one would never suspect of having a special relationship with the leader of the Jewish People. Suddenly, I realized how every Jew has a connection with the “general yechida,” the Rebbe, the nasi.

AN UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY

This brings us to our story, which I heard from R’ Yinon HaKohen Roth of Yerushalayim, who heard it from the person who actually experienced it.

“Some time ago,” R’ Yinon recalled, “I was waiting at a bus station to travel back to Yerushalayim. An ultra-Orthodox Jew with a European accent, a Belzer Chassid, sat near me. We somehow got into a conversation, and when the bus eventually arrived, we sat next to one another. ‘I see that you are a Chassid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,’ the Belzer said. ‘Let me tell you a story that I personally experienced…’”

This story bore virtually all the characteristics of an original Baal Shem’ske Maaseh. All that was missing was the wagon driver and his horse to complete the picture…

After much effort, I managed to locate the main character, Rabbi B.G. from Belgium and speak with him. (He happily agreed to tell the story, provided that the magazine maintains his anonymity.) He noted that he has told his story on numerous occasions. Yet, while it took place over three decades ago, he always feels as if it happened only yesterday. This is the story that he told me, his voice cracking with emotion.

AN UNSETTLING YET AWE-INSPIRING TRIP TO SPAIN 

This was more than thirty years ago, when I was around twenty-nine years old. As part of my work as a kashrus supervisor, I traveled to the city of Cordoba, Spain, for the purpose of overseeing the production of Kosher L’Pesach oil for a major overseas certifier of kosher products. I stayed at the Hotel Cordoba, located near the city’s Jewish ghetto, supplied with kosher food I had brought from home.

On my first night in the city, as I returned to the hotel from the production factory, I noticed a swarthy Arab-looking man staring at me. At first, I didn’t attach any importance to this. However, he kept looking at me, and at a certain stage, he came closer and started following me with intense scrutiny. I didn’t know what he wanted, and I began to get worried. During those years, there were numerous anti-Semitic attacks throughout the world, and the man’s conduct was naturally very troubling. I quickly went up to my room to avoid being around this individual.

The next morning, as I prepared to leave for work, I was waiting outside the hotel lobby for a ride to take me to the factory. Suddenly, I noticed this same man standing before me, and it seemed that he was trying to get closer to me. My fears grew that he was plotting to harm me, and I quickly ducked into an antique store located near the hotel in order to keep my distance from him. To justify my presence there, I started inquiring about the various art pieces on display. By Divine Providence, I found a burned and torn Torah scroll parchment for sale.

I noticed that someone had spread material on the parchment to make it appear more ancient, and I assumed that this was the same person who had burned it more… Since I wanted to stay in the store for as long as I could, I spoke with the storeowner, who told me that a certain person had brought him the parchments. I took the opportunity to explain to him about how Jewish law objects to such desecration of these holy items. Afterwards, I no longer had a legitimate excuse for remaining in the store, and I had to leave. Thankfully, as soon as I walked outside, my ride had arrived to take me to the factory. 

THE STRANGE NOTEPAD

When I returned that evening to the hotel, I again noticed the man sitting on a couch in the hotel lobby, as if he was waiting for something. When I came into the lobby, he began to look at me in a strange manner. By this time, I was already very suspicious, yet there wasn’t much I could do about it. I didn’t speak Spanish, and the hotel’s limited staff only had one person who spoke French, a language I did know. In any case, it would be rather difficult to have a private conversation with this French-speaking employee, since I didn’t know how to explain my fears. 

The only thing I could do was to close myself up in my hotel room, hoping that he wouldn’t dare to come up there. However, before I had a chance to go up to my room, the man was suddenly called to the hotel’s front desk to receive a phone call. As he quickly went over to take the call, he failed to notice that he had forgotten his notepad where he had been sitting. Since I desperately wanted to know who this man was and what he wanted from me, I immediately took the opportunity to put the notepad into my pocket without anyone noticing and quickly went up to my room.

I was consumed by tremendous curiosity as I began to flip through the notepad. At first, I only found a few telephone numbers in Iraq, Turkey, and Kurdistan. However, when I came to the back binding, I saw something totally unexpected. Taped to the inside was a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe!

“What is a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe doing in the heart of Cordoba, in an environment virtually devoid of any Jews?” I pondered. “Who is this man with a notepad containing the Rebbe’s picture and why is he trying to follow me?” However, the main thing I wanted to know was: “Is it possible that this man is actually Jewish?”

I now realized that there was apparently no reason to fear… Even if he wasn’t Jewish, it didn’t seem that someone carrying a picture of the Rebbe in his pocket would want to harm me or anyone else. I smiled to myself about the totally baseless concerns that had taken hold of me. This was probably a simple person who wanted to speak with me, but he couldn’t because I was keeping my distance. While my fears had subsided, I still didn’t contact him that night.

LOOKING FOR THE LOST ITEM IN THE MASHGIACH’S POCKET

The following morning, as I was about to leave for the factory, I noticed him again. This time, he was feverishly looking for something. I knew exactly what he was looking for. However, I was in a rush to get to my job at the factory, and I simply had no time to go over to him. When I returned that evening to the hotel, I saw him still occupied with his search, as he periodically glanced in my direction. 

Since I was most curious to know what connection this man had to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I went up to him and asked him directly in French, “Are you looking for something?”

The man, whom I later discovered was of Iraqi descent, understood French, and he said that he could manage. 

“Tell me what you’re looking for and I’ll help you,” I offered. However, he politely declined.

Determined to get to the bottom of this, I went up to him again a few minutes later and said, “Maybe I can help you. If you answer the question I’m about to ask you, I think we can get on the right track…”

“What do you want to know?” the man asked.

“Who are you and where do you come from? Are you an Arab or a Jew?” All the built-up tension of the past few days could be summarized in these simple questions…

For some reason, he wasn’t particularly eager to satisfy my burning curiosity. He merely mumbled a few words about traveling a lot to various places throughout the world.

Left with no alternative, I decided to get straight to the point: “I know that in the notepad you lost, there’s a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe…”

“You saw the notepad?” the man asked excitedly.

“First, answer my questions,” I replied. “I’m interested in knowing who you are and what you are doing here…”

“I’ll answer you,” the man agreed, “but on one condition: I won’t ask you what your name is, and you don’t ask me for mine.”

After I accepted his condition, he began with a question of his own. “Do you know the Lubavitcher Rebbe?”

“Yes,” I said, “I received two dollars from him, and I have great appreciation for him and his work.”

THE UNUSUAL SHLICHUS REACHED ITS CLIMAX

He was satisfied with my answer and continued: “First of all, I am a Jew, and I serve as the American vice consul in Iraq. Two years ago, the Lubavitcher Rebbe called me in for a private audience and asked that I use my diplomatic connections to enter Arab countries in the Middle East to fulfill a variety of missions. We have been in contact ever since…

“To illustrate this point, I’ll tell you about an unusual mission I received from the Rebbe: On one occasion, the Rebbe gave me a slip of paper with a drawing of a certain location beyond the Iraqi border with Turkey and Kurdistan. He told me that there is a mikveh there with a certain Halachic problem, as detailed in the note the Rebbe gave me. He asked me to travel there and make certain to arrange the necessary repairs.

“When I heard the Rebbe’s request, I was quite amazed, since I knew with absolute certainty that not a single Jew lived there. I then dared to ask the Rebbe: ‘Why should I repair the mikveh when no Jew lives anywhere in the region?’ However, the Rebbe was determined, and he replied: ‘Do as I’ve told you. If it’s not exactly as I’ve said, get in touch with me…”

“I traveled to this location, found the mikveh, and repaired the problem according to the guidelines I had received. Afterwards, I reported to the Rebbe on the mission’s accomplishment, and I received his thanks. It would seem that this was end of the story, but in truth, I was left with a nagging question: What was the whole purpose of this shlichus?

“Then one day, as part of a certain project, I was informed that the government of one of the neighboring countries had sent a group of Jewish families to the very location where the Rebbe had sent me. They settled there and discovered that they had a kosher mikveh…”

The vice-consul stopped for a moment to let his words sink in, and then he concluded his story: “The Lubavitcher Rebbe also sends Judaica items to Jews living in these countries – through me as part of my diplomatic privileges. Of course, in a country such as Iraq, this has its fair share of danger. As a result, I carry a notepad with the Rebbe’s picture, and I’m always at ease that he is protecting me wherever I go. Now, I would be very happy to know if you have some idea where my notepad is…”

I was overcome with emotion upon hearing the vice-consul’s story about the Rebbe, and tears welled in my eyes. It brought back memories that had forever been engraved upon my heart…

It was when I came to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for his famous Sunday dollars distribution. (I had a little protektzia from my relatives, and they had arranged that I would only have to wait in line for a relatively short period of time.) When my turn came and I was standing before the Rebbe, I was engulfed by a feeling of awe and fear that I will never forget. To my good fortune, there was a group of Jews in front of me in line, and the Rebbe spoke to them in a language I did not know. This gave me a little time to catch my breath and somehow stop trembling. 

That sense of awe and fear had suddenly come back to me now. To hear such a story in such an unusual setting was like a dream for me… Naturally, I immediately took the notepad out of my pocket and gave it to the “Arab” who had turned out to be a Jew. “If you need anything,” I said, “I’ll be happy to help you as compensation for this incredible story you’ve just told me…”

I was also very moved by the fact that a Jew who did not observe Torah and mitzvos, someone I feared because I thought he was an Arab, works as a heavenly emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on behalf of other Jews. Yet, he claimed that he didn’t have the slightest idea why Jews needed a mikveh, telling me this quite truthfully in response to my questions, as a way of explaining why he carried a picture of the Rebbe in his notepad… 

What can I tell you? When I returned home to Belgium, I told the story in several different places. Each time, my body literally shook with excitement!

HE LOOKS FOR A NOTEPAD AND FINDS A BAAL SHEM’SKE MAASEH

“After hearing this story,” the Belzer Chassid told me emotionally in the transatlantic phone call, “about how the Rebbe knew what’s happening and what’s going to happen thousands of miles away from his headquarters in New York, it’s no wonder that the Rebbe’s shluchim today come to the most remote locations – because the Rebbe himself has already been there…

“Later, I regretted the fact that I was unable to contact the American vice-consul and gather additional information on other missions he undertook on the Rebbe’s behalf. However, I had been so overcome by this unique chain of events, when I took a simple notepad as a way of discovering who this frightening person was. As it turned out, I discovered a valuable pearl in the form of this awe-inspiring story, a regular Baal Shem’ske maaseh…’”

Even as we were about to conclude our conversation, this deeply devoted Belzer Chassid couldn’t manage to calm himself: “Nishta aza zach! It just isn’t so! I’m not a Lubavitcher. Nevertheless, it’s impossible not to be left speechless by this story that I was privileged to hear first-hand and even had my own part in its unfolding…”

 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.