Calling in favors all over town, the Rebbe set the wheels in motion for the orderly transfer of the coffin. The travel agent promised to get back to him and as he nervously awaited the return call, the Rebbetzin appeared at the door to his study, with Elisheva Lehrer at her side. The Rebbe could see that Shuli’s mother had been crying, yet he sensed that she had drawn upon an inner reserve of strength. The loss to her had to have been nearly as devastating as to her sister. And then, even before Elisheva was seated, the door to the room opened again, and there was Yedida.
The two sisters fell upon each other and the scene before the Rebbe’s eyes defied description. In that intense embrace the sisters seemed to be pouring strength from one to the other. Their tears mingled; words were unnecessary. The Rebbetzin exchanged a look of helplessness with the Rebbe and their eyes too burned with tears.
The sobbing women eventually fell silent and held one another at arm’s length, each gazing meaningfully into her sister’s eyes. The valor and fortitude of millennia of Jewish womanhood was etched on their faces.
The room was charged with emotion and the moment had come for the Rebbe to fulfill his role, but he felt unequal to the task. He had not learned his lines. He opened his mouth to speak but the weak, sorrowful voice he heard was Yedida’s.
“Rebbe,” she whispered hoarsely, “I am extremely grateful to you and everyone in your community for everything you’ve done. Because of you, I had access to the finest medical care available. Had my son be operated on by anyone else, anywhere else, I don’t think I would be able to live with myself. Shmulik received the best, but obviously the Healer of all Flesh understands better than we what is right for our children.
“Now I must face the unpleasant task of informing the children in Shmulik’s cheder that he will not be returning to learn with them, that he has gone to learn Torah from Hashem Himself. “I take comfort knowing that we did all we could for our child. And tomorrow my sister will do all that she can for hers… May Hakadosh Baruch Hu guide the surgeon’s hands, and yours, dear Rebbe, always.”
The Bostoner offers stories and recollections from the colorful Chassidic Court of the Bostoner Rebbe, both the present rebbe and his father zt”l. Rabbi Teller has long established himself as a master story-teller, and he fully lives up to this reputation in the present volume. It recounts incidents from the founding of the Bostoner Chassidus to the present day; as the Rebbe stresses in his foreword, they contain universal lessons about trust in God and His Providence, about caring about one’s fellow man, and about Torah observance. At the same time, they throw a vivid light on the wise and caring manner in which the Rebbe relates to all that come in touch with him.
Reviewed in The Jewish Observer
Words of Praise
|“Rabbi Teller uses his famous way with words to introduce the reader to one of the greatest rabbinical figures of our era. A classic not to be missed!”|
Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb