By Dovid Zaklikowski for COLlive and Hasidic Archives
Abraham Slavaticki‘s father was a respected rabbi and dean of the Jewish synagogue and academy Ohr Hachayim in Warsaw, Poland. But his father refused to take compensation for his rabbinical duties and instead opened a chocolate factory, where his son worked from a young age.
The family immigrated to Israel in the late 1930s, where they continued producing chocolate. Mr. Slavaticki was in charge of formulating the recipes and, though he had no formal training in the subject, he became known as an expert in food chemistry.
Once, during a private audience with the Rebbe, Mr. Slavaticki described his work and his goals for the future. The Rebbe asked him about his spiritual pursuits, and he replied that he had a set schedule for Torah study in the morning and at night.
Perhaps, the Rebbe suggested, he should study a little longer each day. But Mr. Slavaticki said he had no extra time.
“Add a few more minutes,” the Rebbe said. “As a food chemist, you surely know that a small change in ingredients can have a large effect on the finished product.”