By Dovid Zaklikowski for COLlive and Hasidic Archives
In 1957, four days before her wedding, Eileen Weiss, accompanied by her fiance, met the Rebbe for the first time. Immediately, she was struck by the Rebbe’s calming blue eyes. “They were unbelievable, the most beautiful things that I ever saw.” In his presence, she felt her heart opening. “I was able to reveal certain things.”
Eileen had grown up with one parent who was overbearing and struggled with impatience and anger. Now on the verge of starting her own family, she felt paralyzed with fear that she would follow in that parent’s footsteps. She turned to the Rebbe and asked if she could speak to him alone. The Rebbe motioned for her groom to leave the room.
As soon as he left, Eileen broke down in tears. “I don’t want to get married. If I get married, I will have a terrible temper and my husband will surely want to divorce me. It is better to not have a wedding at all than to get married and then divorce.”
The Rebbe reassured her that there was no need to cancel the wedding. G-d willing, she would have many children who would teach her to be patient. “Over time, the issue of impatience will get better.” He advised her that until she had her first child, she should volunteer in the children’s ward at a hospital.
When the groom reentered the room, the Rebbe gave them blessings for their wedding and, uncharacteristically, escorted them to the door.
After her marriage, Eileen recalled, she did find herself struggling with impatience. “I was lucky that I realized I would have a problem with the anger. I worked on it and learned how to deal with the temptations.”