By COLlive reporter
Of the many visitors to the Rebbe’s Ohel in Queens to commemorate the 20th Gimmel Tammuz, was a spirited group of Jews from Brazil.
Over 65 men and women made the trip to New York with Rabbi Yosef Schildkraut, Director of Beit Chabad Itaim in S. Paulo.
One of their stops was a BBQ at Chabad-Lubavitch of the Hamptons, hosted by Rabbi Leibel and Goldie Baumgarten, and the Shluchim Office.
Later on, Ivo, one of the participants, shared a personal story:
He came with the group on their first organized trip for Gimmel Tammuz in 5760 – 2000. There were about 15 in the group that year, before it became an annual ritual from Jews around Brazil.
During that trip, Ivo davened at the Ohel for a blessing to have children. A few months later, his wife became pregnant. The next year, when the group headed out to New York, he remained back home beacause his wife was due to give birth.
His wife gave birth to a boy on Gimmel Tammuz. At the bris, they named him Binyomin Menachem Mendel, after the Rebbe.
A year later, in 2002, he came to thank the Rebbe. At the Ohel, Ivo promised that he would come back again with his son for his Bar Mitzvah.
This year, he acted on that promise. He brought his son as part of the group, landing in New York on Thursday. A full schedule was planned for them that included davening and Shabbos meals.
On Shabbos morning, Brazil was facing Chile in the FIFA World Cup and Ivo suggested to his son that they go to Manhattan to watch the soccer game.
But then his son, Menachem Mendel, stood up and protested.
“Dad,” he said, “this is not the reason we came here! We came here for the Rebbe and because of my Bar Mitzvah. Today is Shabbos and we’re not allowed to take a train, and to go to a bar to watch a soccer game. We can go every week to watch a match in Brazil… Let’s just stay here and spend Shabbos with the rest of the group.”
Needless to say, they returned to the Farbrengen.