The Rebbe's Children

Wednesday, 25 November, 2009 - 6:30 am

By Diane Abrams

When I was forty-eight years of age, I only had one child, Rachel, and my husband and I wanted another child. We went to a doctor who was considered an expert in the field, and she told us that we had less than a five percent chance of having another child. Throughout the time when we were visiting doctors and doing research on the possibility of having another child we had not told anyone about this, not even our parents. We were hoping and praying alone that we would have another child.

Every year on Hoshana Rabba (the final day of the holiday of Sukkot) we would come to the Rebbe to receive a traditional piece of honey cake and a blessing for a good and sweet year. That year we arrived directly from a funeral which Bob and I had attended; it was the first time we had not brought Rachel with us to the Rebbe.

Out of the blue, the Rebbe looked at us and gave us his blessing for "an addition to the family within the next year." I was stunned. How could he have known that this is what we wanted? We had made no such request of the Rebbe nor did we tell any of the Rebbe's secretaries about our wish. It was tremendously encouraging to me, and many times throughout the year I thought about the Rebbe's blessings, picturing the moment when the Rebbe gave us that special blessing.

Six weeks later, it was on Thanksgiving, I tested myself on one of those home pregnancy tests and it turned blue, indicating a positive result. I remember asking Rachel what color it was, and she said it was blue. I asked her again, "Are you sure it's not white?" And she said, "No, Mom, it is definitely blue!"

I immediately went to the doctor's office for a "real" test. Actually it was our daughter's pediatrician, because most doctors were not in on Thanksgiving Day.  He called back to say that the test was positive... but there must be some mistake because it simply could not be that I was pregnant! Instead, he advised that I take another test. Sure enough the second test was positive as well. I was absolutely ecstatic.

A year later, in my fiftieth year, I gave birth to a wonderful girl, Binyomina, or Becky, named after my father-in-law Binyomin, who was a very fine and special man.

The day I went to the hospital, Rachel, ten years old at the time, was at home. The phone rang, and Rachel answered. It was Rabbi Krinsky, one of the Rebbe's secretaries, calling at the Rebbe's behest. "Is everything okay with your mom?" he asked.

"I think so," Rachel responded. "She went to the hospital a few hours ago. I think she is about to have a baby." As it turned out, I was delivering our second child at that moment when Rabbi Krinsky called on the Rebbe's behalf!

Bob and Diane Abrams with Rebbe.jpgWhen Becky was a few months old, we went for our traditional annual Hoshana Rabba visit to the Rebbe. Normally, the line of people waiting to receive the Rebbe's blessings extended for three-four blocks along and around the Crown Heights streets, but the chassidim were always so very nice to us. When our car would arrive, somehow, somebody would come and lead us to the front of the line, sparing us the long wait.

We had the little infant in our hands. The Rebbe said, "I see you brought the addition to your family." This was a year later, and the Rebbe used the exact words he had used one year earlier. I said that we wanted to thank the Rebbe very much for giving us this beautiful child.

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