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A Wedding Gift
When Tammy and her fiancée Yakov set their wedding date for the 19th of Adar, 5751 (March 5, 1991), they had no idea how complicated things would become. While they were busy choosing a wedding hall and finding an apartment, the country of Israel lived in fear of the imminent Gulf War. Citizens were busy preparing their sealed rooms to prepare for chemical attacks.
Tammy had her own list of worries: A wedding dress, band, invitations. But soon the unwanted news began to impress itself upon her consciousness. The winds of war penetrated her happy prenuptial bubble and disrupted her daydreams. Her greatest fear became: how would she get married in middle of a war zone?

Days passed and the Gulf War became a reality. The nerve-wracking alarms would sound at the most inconvenient times as Scud missiles were launched at Israel’s most populated areas, forcing the citizens to run for their sealed rooms. The sense of dread and panic mounted. Tammy and Yakov were sure that their wedding would have to be postponed. Who would attend a wedding with sounds of sirens in the air and Scuds flying overhead?

Tammy’s parents calmly tried to convince her to hold the wedding on its original date, come what may. But Tammy could not come for a decision. All the politicians and army personnel were issuing dire warnings about the risks of the Scuds and the likely duration of the war. Was holding a wedding in March the sane, rational thing to do?

As the war raged in the Middle East, a new voice entered the media: a voice that was strong, unequivocal and reassuring. The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged his chassidim to visit Israel despite the threats, and emphasized that Israel is the safest place in the world, the place where “G-d’s eyes are upon it from the beginning of the year until the end.” Tammy and her family were not religious in the fullest sense of the word, but they had deep respect for the Rebbe. The Rebbe’s words made a deep impression on her, although she still did not make a decision about the date of her wedding.

Tammy and Yakov discussed the decision over and over, while waiting in the sealed room, while they did their wedding shopping. Finally they decided they would turn to the Rebbe himself for advice. They consulted with a family friend from Kfar Chabad, Mrs. Levi, and shared their dilemma. She helped them compose a letter to the Rebbe describing their confusion, and they faxed the letter to the Rebbe’s office.

Within a day they received the Rebbe’s answer: “Check the tefillin, check the mezuzot even in the sealed room, hold the chuppah at the originally scheduled date and time, and all will be very successful.”

“You were lucky to get such a quick answer,” said Mrs. Levi. They quickly removed the mezuzot from the doorposts and sent them together with the tefillin to a scribe in Kfar Chabad to check.

Rabbi Avraham Kadosh, a well-known scribe from Kfar Chabad, inspected the tefillin and found them to be non-kosher. He also discovered that the mezuzah on the sealed room was not a mezuzah at all; it was a plain piece of paper on which the text of the mezuzah was printed, rather than parchment.

Tammy’s parents bought new tefillin and mezuzot, but Tammy was still not reassured. How would she get married under fire?

Mrs. Levi explained to Tammy that the Rebbe’s words were no joke, and it would do her well to follow his advice. She convinced Tammy and Yakov to hold their wedding on the original date, the 19th of Adar. However, contrary to the Rebbe’s advice, the couple decided to hold the wedding earlier in the day. The army had issued clear instructions not to hold gatherings in the evening hours, so they decided to reschedule the wedding for 2 p.m.

Five days before their wedding, the couple received a special wedding gift: The war ended on Purim, the same date that the Rebbe had alluded to in his blessing to a United States Army chaplain who was stationed in Iraq.

Now the family had to inform all their invited guests that the wedding would indeed be held on the original date and time—just as the Rebbe had instructed. The Rebbe’s blessing was fulfilled completely.


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