The Rebbe was born in 1902, on the 11th day of Nissan, in Nikolaev, Russia, to the renowned kabbalist, talmudic scholar and leader Rabbi Levi Yitzchak and Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson.
Rebbetzin Chana (1880-1964) was known for her erudition, kindness and extraordinary accessibility.
Her courage and ingenuity became legend when during her husband’s exile by the Soviets to a remote village in Asian Russia she labored to make inks from herbs she gathered in the fields — so that Rabbi Levi Yitzchak could continue writing his commentary on kabbalah and other Torah-subjects.
On Shabbat, the 6th day of Tishrei 1964, Rebbetzin Chana passed away. She was 85 years old.
The funeral took place on Sunday morning. Approximately 5,000 people, headed by her son, the Rebbe, accompanied Rebbetzin Chana to her resting place at the Chabad cemetery in Queens, New York. Participants remember the Rebbe weeping profusely at her burial.
Each year, on the 6th of Tishrei, the Rebbe held a farbrengen to commemorate Rebbetzin Chana’s yahrzeit. The Rebbe often stressed that the initial letters of the three mitzvot especially entrusted to women—challah, niddah, and hadlakat nerot—correspond to the letters of his mother’s name “Chana,” and encourage all women and girls to strengthen their commitment to Torah and Mitzvot.