A young man who traveled extensively for business, decided that he would print a Tanya in each city he visited.Sometime later, his father didn’t feel well and needed heart surgery.
He asked the Rebbe for a blessing and received the following answer: “Yikach ito lesham kufsa shell tzedaka vechain echad minhaTanyas shehootzoo leor al yedei bno sheyichye. ” – He should take with him to the hospital a tzedakah box and also one of the Tanyas which were printed by his son.
Thank G-d, the surgery was successful, and his father lived for many more healthy long years.
A young man was doing business in central America. He was asked to print a Tanya there. He was traveling with his wife. Business was not going well. He decided that he should print the Tanya as he was asked. From that moment on, the blessings came, and his business picked up!
When they came to the airport, customs held them up. They asked him, “Why are you taking out all these pages out of the country? What is this thing called Tanya?” He and his wife were interrogated at length. He tried his best to explain. They were finally permitted to take the Tanya pages and to leave the country.
Rabbi Jacobson shares this story:
A young man traveled for business purposes to communist countries and African countries. He would make a point of printing a Tanya in each place. In this way he printed quite a lot of Tanyas. Before going on one of these trips, he wrote to the Rebbe to request a blessing and to let the Rebbe know that he was planning on printing a Tanya in the place he was going to. Interestingly, the Rebbe responded that he should print the Tanya, however, he should take everything – the plates and the negatives from the New York office. Since he didn’t live in New York, he called Rabbi Jacobson, who supervised all the printings, and asked that it should be sent to him. He asked that it should be sent to an airport in Germany where he would rendezvous with the negatives of the Tanya on the way to his destination.
“We were a bit apprehensive,” Rabbi Jacobson said, “but that’s what the Rebbe said, and that’s how he was working it out, so we agreed.”
We sent it with Lufthansa Airlines to the destination he gave us, where he would pick it up. However, his plane was rescheduled, and he did not make it to the place where we sent them. Thus, the negatives remained sitting in Germany.
The businessman arranged that the whole package should be sent to his brother-in-law in South Africa. So, the negatives traveled to South Africa. When we asked him how we would get them back, he assured us that they are safely sitting in South Africa for the time being till he could figure a way to return them. In those days travel from South Africa was not so simple and so it remained there for an extended time.
A while later, a Jewish woman who was pregnant in South Africa, went to her doctor for a checkup. When the doctor checked for the baby’s heartbeat, he couldn’t find it. He told the woman that the fetus was a danger to her life, and he needed to operate and remove it, G-d forbid, because it was starting to poison her blood. The family knew that only the Rebbe could advise them. They asked the Rebbe what to do? They wanted to know if they should follow the doctors’ recommendation and prognosis? The Rebbe’s answer was ‘lehaschil hachonos’ (to begin the preparations) for printing a Tanya and gave a blessing for good tidings! The family was in a quandary not knowing where to begin.
Rabbi Jacobson continues: “Someone from her family called me in the middle of the night. When I heard what the Rebbe answered that they should begin the process of printing the Tanya, I realized that the negatives were sitting there, in South Africa, by the brother-in-law of the businesses man. I told them to get in touch with him, and that very morning they took them to the printer. That was all I knew and did not hear further what happened, until a few years later.”
“A young lady from South Africa was studying to be a lawyer in New York and was taking Judaic classes in Crown Heights. She attended some classes which I gave. She was a very devoted student and benefited from the classes. When she got engaged to a wonderful young man from New York, she invited me to attend her wedding in South Africa. She brought me out and arranged classes for me to give and to farbreng there, including a farbrengen lecture in Pretoria in the shul (synagogue) where she grew up. The chasuna (wedding) was in Johannesburg, and for Shabbat Sheva Brochot we went to Pretoria. There a mother came over to me with a nice healthy boy of about ten years of age and introduced herself. She said to me emotionally, ‘This is the boy I gave birth to because of the brocho of the Rebbe!’”
“I reminded myself about the Tanya printing and realized that indeed this was the boy born at that time!”
As told by Rabbi Sholom Jacobson*
With some emendations by Rivkah Kotlarsky
*Rabbi Sholom Jacobson 1947-2021 Rabbi Jacobson was the youngest son of Rabbi Simon and Fraida Yakobashvili (Jacobson). His parents escaped from Russia after WWII and settled in France and then in Toronto. Yet, happiness alluded the young Sholom. He lost both his father and mother by the time he was 7 years old. A kind couple in Crown Heights, Rabbi Yankel and Taibel Lipskier, themselves, Russian immigrants, took him in and raised him lovingly alongside their own 9 children. The Rebbe showed the young Sholom much love and attention and he considered the Rebbe his ‘father’. When he grew up, he became a devoted chassid of the Rebbe and used his G-d given talents for the dissemination of the Rebbe’s teachings. He was very artistic and eloquent, and used these to teach many students in and around Crown Heights. In 1978, when the Rebbe came out with a call to print Tanyas in as many cities as possible, he began overseeing the Tanya printing around the world. With meticulous efficiency he kept track of each Tanya printing. To date thousands of printings have taken place around the globe. He passed away on the 18th of Menachem Av, 5781 (2021). May his memory be for a blessing.