by Yedida Wolfe
“G-d is walking with me, I’m really not alone.” That’s what the inimitable Mrs. Shula Kazen, someone the Rebbe later referred to as “the queen of Cleveland,” told herself at age 14, as she stepped into the dark Russian forest to escape the KGB that was pursuing her family.
In the Chof Beis Shvat N’shei Chabad Newsletter, Mrs. Kazen reveals how her escape was not the first time or the last time that Mrs. Kazen would face personal danger and harrowing hardship under Communism in Russia.
Shula’s wedding was held in secret. The only women there other than the bride were her mother and mother-in-law, the famous heroine Mume Sarah Katznelenbogen.
But Mrs. Kazen’s quick thinking and courage saved her family’s life on more than one occasion. On the train escaping Russia, Shula left her sleeping children with her husband and walked to the next car. When she returned, she saw her husband frozen with fear as the conductor yelled, “These are forged passports!” The conductor had noticed that their daughter Esther’s hair was red, and her passport picture showed a brown-haired little girl.
Wagging her finger at her sleeping daughter, Mrs. Kazen said, “I told her not to play with dye! Now look what happened to her hair.” Miraculously, the conductor accepted that explanation.
Associate editor Chaya Shuchat, who compiled the information for the article, asserts, “Mrs. Kazen is a legendary woman who is worth getting to know, if only through the pages of the Newsletter!”
The new N’shei Chabad Newsletter also features one woman’s brave account of struggling with mental illness as she raises her two boys. Eve W. recounts:
“Living with bipolar is hard. Sometimes it’s miserable. But it’s the life G-d gave me, and I need to do the best I can to make it livable. I have children to take care of, and a husband who wants to share my life… If I want my children to have a happy and healthy childhood and grow to be strong, mature, G-d-fearing people, then I need to do whatever it takes to make sure I am sane enough to lead them in that direction.”
Eve’s story highlights that someone with bipolar disorder can be happily married, raise children well, and be successful at work and socially, while dealing with the condition. With consistent treatment, bipolar disorder is both fully treatable and undetectable.
The N’shei Chabad Newsletter is pleased to announce a new column, “Tzippy Remembers When,” written by beloved Crown Heightser Tzippy Clapman, well remembered by NCN readers for her 2011 series on life as a camp nurse.
In this, her first installment of “Tzippy Remembers When,” Tzippy brings readers back to her childhood in Williamsburg in the 1960s. It was a time when chassidim were moving in, Litvish Jews were leaving the neighborhood, and the young Tzippy Ostrov was growing up watching her mother tend to the lonely elderly people left behind in the population shuffle. Inspired to help when her own grandmother fell ill, Tzippy describes how she and her friends led a Purim celebration for patients in a rehab center, even taking specific dietary needs into consideration as they baked.
“After reading Tzippy’s story, Purim can never be the same again,” says senior editor Rishe Deitsch, her voice filled with admiration. “I think her point is that it is our responsibility to figure out a way to include those less fortunate, certainly before a Yom Tov.”
“We decided to offer our readers a special sale in honor of Chof Beis Shvat,” N’shei Chabad Newsletter business manager Rivka Malka Geisinsky told COLlive. “Instead of five issues for $25 [domestic], we are offering six. And instead of five issues for $45 [international], we are now offering six. You get a free issue with every subscription. The sale lasts only until after Chof Beis Shvat weekend. We value our Shluchos and want to show our appreciation. Many Shluchos give gift subscriptions to several members of their community so this savings really adds up for them.”
N’shei Chabad Newsletter’s Shvat edition will soon be available in stores, and online through Amazon or nsheichabadnewsletter.com (to read on your Kindle or other device). To subscribe, visit www.nsheichabadnewsletter.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you subscribe today you can still receive the Chof Beis Shvat issue in the mail!