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Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 19 Adar I 5784
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Robert Abrams is a distinguished public figure who served four terms as attorney general of the state of New York. During this period he developed a close relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and consulted with him on both personal and communal matters. His respect for the Rebbe and his leadership, as he puts it, knows no bounds.

When he wanted to withdraw from public life, the Rebbe encouraged him to continue and take on other public roles. He confesses that there was only one time that he felt inadequate to take up a challenge that the Rebbe had advised him. That was when the Rebbe suggested that he run for mayor of New York. “I felt that role was greater than I could handle,” he admits.

Robert Abrams’ wife, Diane, also developed a close relationship with the Rebbe. The two first met the Rebbe before their wedding, when a friend suggested that they get the Rebbe’s blessing. The friend also arranged an appointment, and they were finally ushered in to see the Rebbe – at 3 a.m.!

From then on he was a regular guest of the Rebbe, for personal audiences as well as at public gatherings (farbrengens) of the Rebbe. Whenever he came to a farbrengen, the Rebbe would inquire if his wife had come as well. During their private talks the Rebbe would ask her opinion about a broad range of topics.

Every year the couple would come to the Rebbe during Sukkot, on Hoshana Rabbah, when the Rebbe would distribute “lekach,” honey cake, along with his blessings for a sweet year. Most of the time they would bring along their daughter, Rachel, to receive the Rebbe’s blessing. Once, when Rachel was three, the Rebbe handed her a slice of honey cake and she said that she prefers chocolate. The Rebbe responded with a broad smile…

On one occasion, when the couple had not brought their daughter Rachel along for “lekach,” the Rebbe turned to Mrs. Abrams and, after handing her a piece of honey cake, he gave her a second piece and said, “A blessing for a new addition to your family.”

Until then, Robert and Diane had not dared to tell anyone how much they longed for another child. Since the passing of Mr. Abrams’ father a short time before, their desire for another child had intensified, to carry on the grandfather’s name. The problem was that Mrs. Abrams was not young, and when the couple had broached the topic with their doctors, they had been strongly discouraged from pursuing the matter.

However, they did not give up hope. In their hearts they still held out hope that maybe a miracle would happen. Nevertheless, the couple had not shared their dream with anyone, and they were sure nobody else knew their secret…

A month later, Mrs. Abrams became pregnant. Despite all the warnings of the doctors, the pregnancy went smoothly and the child was born with no health issues. She was named Binyamina, after Mr. Abrams’ father, Benjamin. The family called her Becky.

On Hoshana Rabbah of the following year, the Abrams family once again came to receive the Rebbe’s blessings for a new year. When the Rebbe saw them, he turned to them saying, “I see that you have brought with you an addition to your family…”

Mr. Abrams was astounded at the Rebbe’s memory. After a full year, during which the Rebbe had seen tens of thousands of people, he used almost the exact words with which he had blessed them a year earlier…

“Thank you, Rebbe,” said Mr. Abrams with great feeling.

The Rebbe shook his head “no,” while pointing to the heavens, as if to say, It was G-d’s blessing.

“In any case, we call Binyamina the ‘Rebbe’s daughter,’” the proud parents told the Rebbe.

Recently Mrs. Abrams experienced a curious event, which showed her that her special connection to the Rebbe had not ended. She was on a flight to Israel to visit her daughter Rachel. Seated next to her on the plane was a young Chabad chassid, and she related to him several stories of her family’s special connection to the Rebbe. Naturally, she did not leave out the story of Becky’s miraculous birth. When she finished she expressed her sorrow at the loss of the Rebbe.

The chassid explained to her that even now, the Rebbe continues to lead the Chabad movement and gives blessings and advice to those who turn to him. However, Mrs. Abrams was skeptical.

The conversation ended and the young man busied himself with his own matters. On his headphones he began to listen to a recording of one of the Rebbe’s talks. Suddenly he heard the voice of someone approaching the Rebbe, “I am the attorney general Robert Abrams, and I am honored to be here tonight…”

The amazed young man offered his headset to Mrs. Abrams to listen to what she just heard, and she was overwhelmed. For her it was sufficient evidence that the Rebbe continues to be involved in her life


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