By COLlive reporter
A small crowd filled the entrance room of Ohel Chabad Lubavitch Center in Cambria Heights, Queens, on Motzoei Shabbos Shemos 5776 to watch videos of the Rebbe that play in a constant loop.
Shown on the large screen was a farbrengen held on 10 Shevat 5732 in the main shul at Lubavitch Headquarters – 770 Eastern Parkway, and celebrating the anniversary of the Rebbe accepting the leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.
In between delivering “sichos,” the Rebbe was searching for someone, sending chills down the back of a man watching the video last night.
Sitting and watching the clip were David Weisshaar of Atlanta, Georgia, and his fiancee Leah Ganz of Woodmere, New York, who came to pray before their wedding. He is a real estate broker in Atlanta and she works for the Orthodox Union (OU).
“We got engaged on December 13 and people have been encouraging me to go to the Rebbe and ask for his blessing,” Weisshaar told COLlive.com in a phone conversation from New York on Sunday.
Weisshaar, 44, had grown close to Chassidus after going to university and continued studying at the Yeshivos Ohr Temimim in Kfar Chabad, Tiferes Menachem in New York and Ufaratzta in Katamon, Jerusalem.
So when he came to the Five Towns last week to visit his fiancee, he offered her to go with him to the Rebbe’s holy gravesite at the Old Montefiore cemetery in Queens after Shabbos.
Upon arriving there, Weisshaar commented to Ganz that “everything here is Hashgacha protis – Divine Providence.” The two, accompanied by a friend, wrote a personal ‘pan’ request, as customary, and walked into the Ohel to pray.
Sipping a warm drink, the two sat down in the “house” adjacent to the cemetery to draw further inspiration from watching a video of the Rebbe from the vast archive footage of JEM (Jewish Educational Media).
“The Rebbe was between talks and had a big bag of mail in front of him,” Weisshaar told COLlive.com. “Then, all of a sudden, the Rebbe asked, ‘is there a Jew here from Georgia?’ I turned to Leah and asked if she saw that as well.
“Then the Rebbe spoke again and said, ‘where’s David from Georgia?’ That is when I jumped up out of my seat. I said, ‘wow! This is kind of wild!’ I realized the Rebbe wasn’t only looking for a Jew from Georgia, he’s looking for ‘David from Georgia!'”
“We noticed that it took a while for the people in 770 to find this David,” Weisshaar related. When the Jew from the former Soviet country is finally found, the Rebbe instructs him to sing.
The person, who was a diamond dealer and an immigrant living in Kiryat Malachi, Israel, began singing a Georgian Jewish melody.
And the words? The blessing for a bride and groom traditionally sung at weddings: “kol sason v’kol simcha, kol chatan v’kol kallah…”
Weisshaar says he turned to some bochurim standing nearby and told them that his first name is David and that he lives in the state of Georgia as well, and that he came at this late hour to request a blessing for their wedding.
The friend that came with Weisshaar and Ganz even commented that David also resembles David from the video. Bochurim present were moved by the story and helped Weisshaar purchase the Farbrengen DVD from 10 Shevat 5732.
“I already knew this (engagement) was a solid thing and I was sure we had the Rebbe’s bracha,” Weisshaar said. “But this was like the icing on the cake. It was kind of crazy to see it on the screen.”
The couple set their wedding date to Thursday, 24 Adar II, 5776 in Brooklyn, NY. Mazel Tov!