The previous rebbes prophecy (part 2)

“Behind the synagogue in the Bronx where I was the rabbi, there was a butcher shop facing the road. The back wall of the shop was attached to the synagogue wall. The Jewish owner of the butcher shop was a successful businessman and soon his small shop was not large enough for his growing business.

He found a larger space close by and decided to sell his shop which was attached to our synagogue.

“The board members of the synagogue were pleased about this. The synagogue membership had grown and the space was tight for the many people coming on Shabbat and Holidays. After some deliberation with the owner of the butcher shop which was conducted in good faith, the deal was clinched to the satisfaction of both parties. The mutual wall was removed, and the synagogue space expanded favorably. For whatever reason, the whole transaction was completed without any signed documents. The owner of the store appeared to be an honest and upright fellow and with a handshake it was accomplished.

“Years passed. The new butcher shop was doing very well, and the owner became wealthy. His business continued to grow and develop until the larger store could no longer contain all the merchandise which he needed. The owner began to look for a storage area close by to keep his merchandise. After an extensive search, he realized that he was unable to find anything appropriate for his needs. He reminded himself that he never had a written and signed document with the synagogue for his butcher shop and there weren’t any witnesses to the deal. Without hesitation, he approached the members of the board and demanded the return of his old shop. The board members were shocked. Clearly, they had paid the full sum agreed upon. But all their arguments fell on deaf ears.

“The owner hired a lawyer and felt confident that a court would rule in his favor since there was no signed document for the sale. After a brief court case, the board of the synagogue received a letter from the court informing them that they must evacuate the premises by a certain date. Should they not comply willingly then they would be forced out by the police.

“The date was coming closer and the members of the synagogue had no idea how to avert the decree. I decided to travel to the present Rebbe to seek his blessing. I understood that only the blessing of the Rebbe could save the situation. When I told the Rebbe what was happening at the synagogue, he said to me, “’I don’t understand why you are worried. My father-in-law, the Rebbe, told you clearly that a synagogue is a synagogue; and you cannot make from a synagogue a store. Go back in peace and with G-d’s help it will be so!’”

“I returned home encouraged by the blessing of the Rebbe. From my earlier experience I knew that every word of the Rebbe comes true.

“The days passed, and the day of judgement was upon us. In the natural state of affairs there did not seem to be any possibility of a change for the good. The night before, I decided that I would arise earlier than usual to go to the synagogue. I said the night Shema with great feeling and a prayer to G-d to have mercy on the synagogue that nothing bad should happen. I was lying in bed but could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned for many hours. As the first rays of dawn were peeking through the window, I finally managed to fall asleep. I had a dream that I will never forget. It remains memorable and vivid to this day. I entered the synagogue and saw that seated at the head of the table was the Previous Rebbe. At his side stood the Rebbe. He turned to me and said, “’Remove all worry from your heart. G-d has prepared everything to work out well!’” The Rebbe then pointed to his father-in-law and said, “’The Rebbe already told you that a synagogue is a synagogue, so why do you worry? All will be well!’”

“I awoke in wonderment. The vision of the Previous Rebbe, who had passed away a number of years prior, was so real. I looked out the window and realized that the sun was shining brightly. I understood that I had overslept. Quickly I dressed and in minutes I was out the door running with all my strength to the synagogue. From a distance I could hear loud noise and screaming voices. A large group of people had gathered outside the synagogue. As I got closer I could hear that strong words were being shared with the police who would not allow anyone to enter the synagogue. I stood back watching with tears in my eyes how they had already begun to empty the furniture from the synagogue. At the moment when it seemed that all was lost, something unbelievable occurred.

“In the nearby street where the large butcher shop was located, the large chandelier fell suddenly from the ceiling. With a crash it landed on the head of the owner. He fell down unconscious. The workers called an ambulance to take him to the hospital. The paramedics ran in and administered some medication and first aid to revive him. As soon as he came to, he shouted out, “’Quick! Stop emptying the synagogue!’” They called the head of the police to hear what he was saying. He admitted that he had falsified the information about the sale and that he had been paid the full sum for the old store. “’I sinned against G-d and that is why I am being punished,’” he declared.

“The police now returned all the furniture to the synagogue and left.

“Now,” the rabbi turned to the young man in front of him and said, “you surely understand why I do not allow anyone to sit at the head of the table. The vision of the Previous Rebbe remains clear to me and I see him sitting in this very place with the Rebbe at his side.”

And with this the rabbi concluded his wondrous story.

Translated from Raboseinu Nesieinu Book 2 – Pgs. 186-195

A project of Reshet Oholei Yosef Yitzchok Lubavitch

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