By COLlive reporter
A short and telling exchange between the Rebbe and Rabbi Leibel Raskin, the late Shliach in Morocco, is presented in honor of the 10th anniversary of his yartzeit.
When Rabbi Raskin heard about a young single Jewish woman in Morocco who was in a relationship with a local Arab man, he asked the Rebbe for guidance.
The Rebbe’s reply was “to influence her, also through friends” and “even better, she should travel to Eretz Yisroel for a visit, for at least 2 months (perhaps with her mother).”
As with many occasions, the Rebbe signed off the handwritten note that “azkir al hatziyon” (it will be mentioned at the Ohel of the Frierdiker Rebbe during the upcoming visit).
Some while later, on the week of Parshas Yisro 5745, Rabbi Raskin sent the Rebbe requests for blessings on behalf of two Jewish women in Casablanca, accompanied by wedding invitations of their children.
On of those invitations was of that young woman who was dating a Muslim man.
“Through meriting the advice and instruction of the Rebbe, the bride left her non-Jewish acquaintance and thank G-d, is now marrying a Jewish person and has also learned the basic wedding laws with my wife,” Rabbi Raskin wrote.
It should be noted that this instruction from the Rebbe was voiced years earlier in a conversation with Israeli writer and politician Geulah Cohen when she visited 770 Eastern Parkway in 1964.
“Every day that goes by is a tremendous loss,” the Rebbe lamented to Cohen, encouraging her to get involved with the youth. The Rebbe said that “Our youth are asleep without knowing it, and those who address it with speeches are surprised that they are not listening. Unless they hear their own words, they will not awaken.”
The Rebbe’s solution by way of observation, which now, years later, can be seen more as a prophecy, was: “What takes 10 years to do in the Diaspora can be done in 10 days in the Land of Israel.”
Rabbi Raskin served for more than 40 years as the Rebbe’s Shliach in Morocco and passed away at the age of 71 on 12 Iyar 5764. He was survived by his wife, Reizel, who remains active in Casablanca, 6 children who serve as Shluchim in Vermont, Montreal, Maine and California.