“I was mesmerized by the photo while looking through family albums during a recent trip to Australia,” said Rishe Deitsch, senior editor of the N’shei Chabad Newsletter. She was referring to the unique photo of Rebbetzin Chana featured on the cover of the upcoming Tishrei issue. “The fact that my beloved Auntie Sima, zol gezunt zein, agreed to let the N’shei Chabad Newsletter use such a private picture is still a wonder to me.”
All the well-known photos of the Rebbetzin Chana seem to be rather solemn. This photo shows the beautifully warm, loving, human side to her–unfamiliar to those who did not know her personally.
The photo captures an intimate view of Rebbetzin Chana sharing a special moment with her cousin, Mrs. Sima Paltiel, nee Kluwgant, at her wedding to Dr. Eliezer Paltiel on March 26, 1959 (16 Adar II 5719). Seated at the head table, Rebbetzin Chana’s smile to the bride radiates simchah and love. Mrs. Paltiel reluctantly granted N’shei Chabad Newsletter permission to use the photo after much pleading by her niece.
Not long after the photo was scanned, Rabbi Dovid Dubov of Chabad of Greater Mercer County/Princeton, NJ, reached out to NCN about publicizing his new two-volume set, Yalkut Levi Yitzchok, created from the writings of Reb Levi Yitzchok, the Rebbe’s father, whose 70th yahrzeit was Chof Av.
Publishing Reb Levi Yitzchok’s writings honors Rebbetzin Chana’s wish to see her husband’s works in print. As she wrote in her diary:
My wish is to see publication of the letters of my husband, of blessed memory, which we have. Something ought to be published from such a personality, such a flowing “wellspring” of incessant Torah thought, never ceasing even a moment, who, when he had no one to address, would write down his thoughts on paper in installments. Certainly I am entitled to hope for this, after all that I have witnessed in my life. In any event, it is something that ought to come about. I can do nothing to help it happen, but my desire for it is strong and I hope it will happen.
Rabbi Dubov’s efforts obey the Rebbe’s directive, issued on the 25th anniversary of his father’s passing, to print the comments Reb Levi Yitzchok wrote in the margins of the Zohar and Tanya during his forced exile by the communists for his fearless and unwavering adherence to Torah and mitzvos. Reb Levi Yitzchok suffered greatly from cold, starvation and illness, and passed away in 1944 in the city of Alma Ata.
Selected excerpts from Rabbi Dubov’s sefer, translated into English for the NCN by Rabbi Koppel Chaiton, appear in the new issue of N’shei Chabad Newsletter.
In her article “If I Were You,” Gitty Bronstein, LSCW, weighs in on how to listen with care and show concern, without overwhelming friends, mekuravim, or even family with well-meaning advice. She describes a common mistake made by people who are new to counseling. Mrs. Bronstein tells readers:
You may be very good at problem-solving. That’s a very useful skill which is of great benefit to others in certain situations. If, however, you decide what the other person’s problem is and rush to solve it, that person could be left feeling useless, learning nothing from the process. If you find yourself saying or thinking, “Listen, if I were you…” stop right there. She’s not you. You’re not there to tell her what you would do if this were your husband, mother, child, business, or life. You’re there to help her, and since she knows herself best, let her lead. Remember that the help-seeker needs to find her own solutions. Rushing to offer solutions is a common mistake made by people who are new to counseling. This can get in the way of listening and if you find yourself doing it, consider it a tendency you need to overcome.
What seems to be the problem may not be the real issue after all. If you jump in with advice, she may not ever get to the real problem, and she ends up not being heard.
For example, let’s say a friend has been looking for a job unsuccessfully for the past six months. You may be tempted to rush in with advice about r?sum? building, networking or interviewing. However, it’s more important just to listen to the person. Maybe she needs to build confidence in herself, that she has the skills and abilities to make herself attractive to a potential employer. If you offer advice, you may be subtly reinforcing her impression that she is indeed incompetent.
The unforgettable Delia Fisher of Caulfield, Australia, shared with the N’shei Chabad Newsletter her terrifying-then-heartwarming story of facing adversity after she became paralyzed at a young age, just after the birth of her first child. She struggled to get the correct diagnosis. She struggled through various treatments and even surgeries:
After further testing by a neurosurgeon, it was discovered that during the first operation the doctor had not removed the tumor. It had now grown significantly and had spread up my spinal cord to my cervical region. I was in a state of shock and disbelief that this was happening. How could the doctor I had trusted with my life make such a monumental mistake? I was left feeling devastated, helpless and desperate.
And then, finally, decades later when she was about to marry off her only child, she struggled to be able to attend the whole wedding! Says Delia:
Being confined to a wheelchair can be restricting enough without having more restrictions placed on you. Unfortunately, quality of life did not seem to be a factor to be considered by the system offering care. Having to fit into the service system, I found it impossible to live an ordinary life as an ordinary person and I was never encouraged to think my life could be anything other than conforming to the scheduled movements of caregivers. Despite these hardships, I looked to the future with hope and a dream of a better way of living.
To find out how she managed to use her plight to vastly improve her life and the lives of others, subscribe today at www.nsheichabadnewsletter.com or, as of September 18, purchase N’shei Chabad Newsletter in stores or via our e-edition. For more information, please visit our website www.nsheichabadnewsleter.com.