By a Shliach (name withheld upon request)
I was on a flight tonight back home after a too short pre-Gimmel Tammuz visit to New York and I was without much inspiration to speak of.
Getting comfortable on the plane, I hear two young Jewish guys asking the person next to me to exchange seats so they could sit together. My neighbor agreed. As they were taking their seats, the one wearing a kippa happily announced, “Now we’re 3 Jews together!”
We made polite chit chat and learned that our plane was being held up from taking off due to some reason I could not quite make out from the pilot’s muffled announcement.
We took our phones out, and that’s when I noticed the Rebbe’s image on the screen of the Jewish youngster near me! For the next 45 minutes, as we were sitting on the runaway, he was watching JEM’s Living Torah clips of the Rebbe!
An hour or so into the flight, I turned to him and asked, ‘What gives? Why the interest with the Rebbe?’
He explained to me how he had just finished the book “Rebbe” by Joseph Telushkin and was amazed by the Rebbe’s life and legacy. That led him to start watching and reading about the Rebbe online.
I asked if he had any previous contact with Chabad.
Yes, he says. I was in touch with the Chabad at my college from which I just graduated. Oh, and my sister was born thanks to the Rebbe.
I think quickly. He’s 21-years-old, how old could his sister be? Is this for real?
He goes on to tell me that his mother went to visit the Rebbe when she was 35. She was having problems and complications getting pregnant. The Rebbe gave her a blessing and soon after she became pregnant with his sister.
The day she met the Rebbe was 22 Shevat 5752 (1992), just weeks before the Rebbe suffered a stroke…
I left him my complimentary copy of A Chassidishe Derher Magazine that I had taken with me for the flight.
The conversation continued and my fascination over his fascination with the Rebbe and the responses he gave left me deeply inspired. Indeed, no one leaves the Rebbe without inspiration.