by Rabbi Sholom D. Avtzon
I heard recently from Reb Betzalel Rotter the following story. It was evident that he knows the person, but chose to omit the name. The only clue he gave was that it occurred in the early years of the Rebbe’s Nesius.
A young couple was blessed with a child, but their happiness and joy dissipated almost immediately, as the doctors informed them that their child has some extremely serious health issues, which although are not terminal, they are incurable.
Both parents were devastated and they poured out the pain in their heart, in a letter to the Rebbe.
A day or two afterwards, the husband was informed that the Rebbe’s head secretary, Rabbi Hodakov wants to speak with him. He went to his private office at the end of the hallway in 770 and knocked on the door.
When he entered, Rabbi Hodakov greeted him and then stood up and put on his gartel and hat. He then said to the father, “The Rebbe instructed me to inform you, that his door is always open. The Rebbe said whenever you feel that you want to speak to me [the Rebbe], just come and knock on my door. If I don’t answer, knock again. If I don’t answer the second knock, keep on knocking, until I open the door and answer you. That is why I am here. – oif dehm bin ich duh, uhn fahr dehm kuhm ich bahtzult.”
May Hashem answer and fulfill all of our requests completely.
P.S. I thank those who kindly responded to my request for assistance in publishing the biography of the Rebbe Maharash, and I almost covered the deficit.
Rabbi Avtzon is a veteran mechanech and author of numerous books on the Rebbeim and their chassidim. He is available to farbreng in your community, for Yud Shevat or any other occasion and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org