By Levi for COLlive.com
19 years ago to this day I was with my friends at Shain’s shul in Crown Heights where we were learning at the after school Yeshivas Erev. Somehow word got through to us that the Rebbe had fallen. Shaken yet undaunted, we split the Tehillim, each taking another part to say and went home.
The day was Chof Zayin Adar I 5752 and I was 10 years old.
The next 2 years would be very painful for me and everyone I knew. We spent lots of time wandering in 770, waiting for the next time we would see the Rebbe.
Life then was in overdrive; everything was about the Rebbe and the hope for the immediate coming of Moshiach. Rallies, learning, daily Tehillim, davenings in 770, “Moshiach Beepers” (I sometimes hear the signature beep in my sleep).
All the camp songs were about our yearning to see the Rebbe again and healthy and leading us out of golus. I still remember Mulleh Chanin as the funny farmer in that year’s Color War play (adapted into film as “The Faithful Shepherd”).
I don’t remember much else, although I clearly remember the love I had, even as a 10 year-old, to the Rebbe. When the song “Rebbe, oy Rebbe” would play, I would burst out in tears.
Today is Chof Zayin Adar I 5771, and I am 29 years old.
After work, I will Beezras Hashem be taking time to reflect on this day with my wife and children and try to explain to the little ones what it was like to be with the Rebbe in our midst and what will be when Moshiach comes.
Thinking back on those days I understand why we today have trouble thinking or talking about Moshiach like then. It’s because we were there, we had so much bitachon and so much energy. It’s so hard to foster that same energy and belief, that we might have just given up.
Rebbe, oy Rebbe, we need you!