By COLlive reporter
As reported earlier on COLlive.com, Mrs. Shulammis Saxon, who gave the Rebbe a bracha for children ‘in code,’ before her Bas-Mitzvah in 1981, was recently interviewed by JEM’s My Encounter with the Rebbe project. She explained how the Rebbe responded in kind, writing in the same code, “Thank you for the bracha.”
Now, a new development has unfolded in the 32 year-old story. Pursuant to the release of Mrs. Saxon’s story, the internal office draft of the letter was brought to the My Encounter team by an anonymous source. The original document shows the Rebbe’s handwritten note to the secretary with specific instructions on how to compose the letter to the 12-year old girl.
At the top of the letter, which is comprised of the blessings which the Rebbe would regularly convey to Bas Mitzvah girls, the Rebbe drew an arrow pointing to the words “In the margin.”
Below that, the Rebbe wrote the words “Toda al habracha – thank you for the blessing” in the code used by chasidim in Russia to communicate with the Rebbeim through the years – wherein each letter of the Alef Beis is exchanged for the following. Hence an alef becomes a beis, and a shin becomes a tof. This method is also known as “mezuzah code” – the method used for the letters spelling out G-d’s name on the reverse side of a mezuzah scroll.
However, the twelve year-old child had written her code in the opposite, exchanging each letter for the preceding letter. So the Rebbe crossed out his personal coded thank you note, and wrote the coded message again – this time, in the same fashion as the young girl had written her sincere blessing to him.
The handwritten instruction also sheds light on the privacy and respect with which the Rebbe handled the correspondence sent to him. In the top right corner the Rebbe wrote: “L’hareini – show me the letter [before preparing the draft on stationery for my signature],” so that he could be certain his instructions were properly followed.