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Sunday, December 3, 2023 - 20 Kislev 5784
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The Rebbetzin’s Shawl
by Mrs. Orit Greenberg

Since I was a small child, I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a mother to many children. I waited impatiently for four long years after my wedding until our oldest daughter, Chaya Mushka, was born.

Shortly after she was born, the Rebbe appeared to me in a dream. He smiled at me and thanked me warmly for naming my daughter after his wife, the Rebbetzin. He also gave me some items that belonged to the Rebbetzin. I noticed one that was beige-pink in color.

After Chaya Mushka we had a few more children, but then we went through a period in which I was unable to conceive. This really bothered me. I yearned for more children.

Four years ago, at a women’s event in honor of 22 Shvat, the Rebbetzin’s yahrtzeit, there was an auction. The prize was a shawl that was made out of a garment belonging to the Rebbetzin. The money would go towards Hachnasas Kallah, a fund to help needy couples with their wedding expenses.

When I saw the shawl I immediately recognized it as the one the Rebbe had given me in the dream. I felt it was my opportunity and decided I had to get that shawl.

I joined the bidding, ignoring my apprehensions about how we would be able to afford it. The price went up and up until finally, at 9000 shekels, the shawl was mine.

Daniela Golan, the head of the Ohr Chaya organization that hosted the event, blessed me that I should have a son, a tzadik. I called my husband and told him that I had bought the Rebbetzin’s shawl. I told him how much it cost, and we committed to making ten monthly payments for it.

We began paying if off and saw blessings right away. First, my in-laws decided to give us 11,000 shekels without even knowing the story. Then I was accepted into a computer course, which soon landed me a job. Third, my husband also had special blessing in his earnings that year. But the blessing I wanted the most, for additional children, still eluded us.

We thought maybe we had to finish paying all the installments on the shawl I had bought. When Shvat rolled around once again and the last payment was made, I felt that we had earned the merit. I put the shawl on my shoulders and prayed with tears and great concentration that I have a son. Then I opened the Igros Kodesh, a volume of the Rebbe’s published letters, and opened the page at random. The letter printed on that page was beautiful and had special relevance to my situation.

First, the Rebbe wrote about yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim, to make sure that there were good students so they wouldn’t have to leave the yeshiva. Children need to receive a good education so they would be Tmimim, sincere ones, a term that applies to those who attend the Tomchei Tmimim yeshivah. Second, there was a blessing that referred a passage in the Talmudic tractate of Erchin, which talks about the dispute between the sages about a leap year, whether the purpose of it is to fill the lack of that year or of the previous years. The letter ended with the words: this is the inyan of the month of ibur (the significance being that ibur means both leap year and pregnancy).

It was on the 22nd of Shvat that I got the good news—with G-d’s help, I was expecting a child. The pregnancy was neither easy nor simple, but we knew it was blessed. Our son Dovber was born on 18 Cheshvan, 5768.



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