Tonight is the yarzheit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah Schneerson (b. 1901), wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbetzin passed away on the 22nd of Shevat of the year 5748 (1988).
In 1950, upon the passing of her father, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, leadership of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement passed to Chaya Mushka's husband, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory. Despite the Rebbe's initial adamant refusal to accept the mantle, it was his wife, the Rebbetzin, who, notwithstanding the great personal sacrifice this would entail, finally prevailed upon him to accept the position with all its public and private hardships.
She was steadfast: It is simply unthinkable that her father's thirty years of total self-sacrifice and accomplishment should, G-d forbid, come to naught.
An erudite and wise woman, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka carried the mantle of her revered and exalted position in a most humble and unpretentious fashion. All her life she fulfilled the ideal of the psalmist: "The entire honor of a king's daughter is within." When calling the Rebbe's office at "770," or calling for a high school girl ill in her dormitory, she always referred to herself simply as: "Mrs. Schneerson from President Street."
Gentle and courteous to everyone, the Rebbetzin saw her role as one wholly devoted to the work of her husband. Even when she relayed advice to those seeking his guidance through her, she would repeat his wording with precision, making sure that it was understood exactly as the Rebbe intended.
|Painting of Chaya Mushka by Cindy Michael|