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A Timely Letter

Rabbi Dovid Crispin opened the door one evening to find his neighbor from two flights up, Chasia Neumark. She was holding  a document in her hand. “I have something for your wife, Rachel,” she said, holding it out to him.

“Does she know what this is about?” asked Rabbi Crispin.

“No,” answered Chasia, “but you can open it and read it.”

Rabbi Crispin started to read, and suddenly his face changed color. “Rachel,” he called, “you must read this. This is unbelievable!”

The story had begun earlier that day. Chasia worked as a librarian in the Beth Rivka College in Kfar Chabad, Israel. As secretary, she had access to the archives of the institution, even though she rarely had any need to search those archives.

On that day, Chasia had a few free minutes, and decided to use the time to peruse the archive. She knew that, among other things, the archive contained many letters that the Lubavitcher Rebbe, King Moshiach, sent to the directors of the institution and to its students, and she wanted to read them.

Chasia went into the archive and went straight to the files that held the Rebbe's letters. She leafed through them, but there was no particular letter that caught her attention.

Suddenly she noticed a familiar name. The letter was written 45 years earlier, to the students of the 9th grade, in response to a letter they had sent to the Rebbe for Rosh Hashanah. The Rebbe addressed each student by name and wished them all a blessing for the new year: “As we enter the new year, which is coming upon us and all of Israel for good and blessing, I wish to bless you with a good inscription and seal for a good and sweet year, for a year of success in your studies and good conduct, in good health.”

Chasia recognized one of the names, Rachel Nizri, as the maiden name of her neighbor. She figured that although the students had most likely had an opportunity to read the Rebbe's letter at the time, they probably had not each received a copy, especially in the days before Xerox machines were popular. She decided to surprise her friend and photocopied the letter.

When she returned home from work that afternoon, she went straight to the Crispins' door, but nobody answered. That evening, she again rang the bell, and this time they answered.

Rabbi Dovid Crispin was entirely overcome with emotion when he read the letter. “You have a blessing from the Rebbe,” he cried out to his wife. “The Rebbe blesses you with good health!”

“You have no idea what you just did for us,” they told their neighbor Chasia. “We are just getting back from the hospital. This morning, Rachel fainted. She was brought by ambulance to the hospital and they found that her blood pressure was very low. The doctors decided to send her home but she would need very close follow-up.

“We were just sitting here and  deciding how to proceed further, on the advice of the doctors, when suddenly you come here with the letter in which the Rebbe wishes Rachel and all her classmates his blessings for good health and all other good things! Apparently, the moment that you decided to look through the letters was the time she was being brought to the hospital.”

“It really is an amazing thing,” said Chasia. “All these years I am working there as a secretary and never had any inclination to search the archives, and suddenly to pick up these two letters...”

“What do you mean, two letters?” asked Rachel. “Did you find another letter with my name mentioned?”

“No,” smiled Chasia. “There was another letter with a name I recognized, a friend of mine from Kiryat Malachi. I called her and told her about my find, and she asked me, almost in a panic, to fax her the letter. From her tone of voice, it seems that for her, it was also a very opportune moment.”

And Chasia was correct. Two days later, her friend from Kiryat Malachi called and said that the day after she had received the fax, she had undergone a medical procedure that worried her a lot. The letter, which also had a blessing for health, came at just the right time.

Two names out of hundreds, or perhaps thousands... and for some reason, even though these were not the only two names Chasia recognized, she decided to copy the letters for them. The Rebbe's blessings from over 45 years ago were intended for this very moment as well.



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