A Tribute to
Horav Schneur Zalman
Of Blessed Memory
On the Occasion of his Shloshim,
and hascholas ksivas Sefer Torah
21 Menachem-Av, 5766
(Photo Credit: Chaya Sara Shagalov, Chanukah
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Soul's Journey
Horav Schneur Zalman Halevi Shagalov (A Brief Biography)
A Tribute To My Zaidy:
Chaya Sara Shagalov
Zahava and Odela Shagalov
Chaya Mushka Chaimson
A Tribute To Our Father
The "Zalman Moment"
Time For Unity; Time For Strength!
Picture of the Matzaivah
English Translation of the Matzaivah
To Mr. and Mrs. Tzion & Adina Yakubov, on the
occasion of the bris of their newborn son,
Schneur Zalman, on Sunday, 19 Menachem-Av, 5766,
the first child named after our dear and loving father.
-- The family
On the occasion of my dear and loving father's shloshim, 21
Menachem-Av, 5766, it is with tremendous pain and sorrow that we are
publishing this tribute to him.
We know from the outpouring of love and grief from friends and relatives
around the world how beloved he was. It has underlined for us how important
his work was and how appreciative people are of the loving kindness with
which he befriended and helped so many individuals.
Since his petirah -- passing -- many people have expressed a desire
to write tributes about him, therefore, we are asking you to please send
us your thoughts, stories etc., using the following e-mail address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try to publish
them in a book for his yahrtzeit. Hopefully Moshiach will come long
long before that date.
A web-site was established in his loving memory, at:
We hope and pray that this will be the last instant of mourning in the world,
and may we merit the resurrection of the dead with the complete and final
Redemption through Moshiach, Now! Amen.
Thank you to all who helped in the production of this booklet.
21 Menachem-Av, 5766
Brooklyn, New York.
In the name of the family,
Rabbi Yosef Y. Shagalov
The Soul's Journey
Adapted from a Letter of the Rebbe
Dated 8 Tamuz, 5743/1983*
I have just received your letter...
To begin with a blessing, may G-d grant that henceforth you and all your
family should have only goodness and benevolence - in the kind of good that
is revealed and evident.
At the same time, you must make every effort to regain the proper state of
mind, despite the pain.
You should remember the teachings and instruction of the Torah which is called
Torat Chayim -- guide in life, and Torat Emet -- the Torah
of truth, meaning that what it teaches is not just to ease the mind, but
the actual truth. Thus, the Torah, taking into account human nature/feelings
in a case of bereavement, and the need to provide an outlet for the natural
feelings of sorrow and grief, prescribes a set of regulations and periods
of mourning. At the same time the Torah sets limits in terms of the duration
of the periods of mourning and the appropriate expression, such as
Shiva (the first seven days), Shloshim (thirty days), etc.
If one extends the intensity of mourning which is appropriate for
Shiva into Shloshim, it is not proper, for although
Shloshim is part of the overall mourning period, it is so in a lesser
degree. And since the Torah says that it is not proper to overdo it, it does
no good for the Neshama -- soul of the dear departed. On the contrary,
it is painful for the Neshama to see that it is the cause for the
conduct that is not in keeping with the instructions of the Torah.
A second point to bear in mind is that a human being cannot possibly understand
the ways of G-d. By the way a simple illustration: An infant cannot possibly
understand the thinking and ways of a great scholar or scientist even though
both are human beings, and the difference between them is only relative,
in terms of age, education and maturity. Moreover, it is quite possible that
the infant may some day surpass the scientist, who also started life as an
infant. But the difference between a created human being and his creator
is absolute. Therefore, our sages declare that a human being must accept
everything that happens, both those that are obviously good and those that
are incomprehensible, with the same positive attitude that "All that G-d
does is for the good," even though it is beyond human understanding.
Nevertheless, G-d has made it possible for human beings to grasp some aspects
and insights about life and after life. One of these revealed truths is that
the Neshama is a part of G-dliness and is immortal. When the time
comes for it to return to heaven, it leaves the body and continues its eternal
life in the spiritual World of Truth.
It is also a matter of common sense that whatever the direct cause of the
separation of the soul from the body (whether a fatal accident, or a fatal
illness, etc.), it could affect only any of the vital organs of the physical
body, but could in no way affect the spiritual soul.
A further point, which is also understandable, is that during the soul's
lifetime on earth in partnership with the body, the soul is necessarily
"handicapped" -- in certain respects -- by the requirements of the body (such
as eating and drinking, etc.). Even a Tzaddik -- a righteous person
whose entire life is consecrated to G-d cannot escape the restraints of life
in a material and physical environment. Consequently, when the time comes
for the soul to return "home", it is essentially a release for it as it makes
its ascent to a higher world, no longer restrained by a physical body and
physical environment. Henceforth the soul is free to enjoy the spiritual
bliss of being near to G-d in the fullest measure. That is surely a comforting
It may be asked, If it is a "release" for the soul, why has the Torah prescribed
periods of mourning, etc.? But there is really no contradiction. The Torah
recognizes the natural feeling of grief that is felt by the loss of a near
and dear one, whose passing leaves a void in the family, and the physical
presence and contract of the beloved one will be sorely missed. So the Torah
has prescribed the proper periods of mourning to give vent to these feelings
and to make it easier to regain the proper equilibrium and adjustment. However,
to allow oneself to be carried away by these feelings beyond the limits set
by the Torah -- in addition to it being a disservice to one's self and all
around, as well as to the Neshama, as mentioned above would mean that
one is more concerned with one's own feelings than with the feelings of the
dear Neshama that has risen to new spiritual heights of eternal happiness.
Thus, paradoxically, the overextended feeling of grief, which is due to the
great love for the departed one, actually causes pain to the loved one, since
the Neshama continues to take an interest in the dear one left behind,
sees what is on (even better than before), rejoices with them in their joys,
One thing the departed soul can no longer do, and that is, the actual fulfillment
of the commandments, which can be carried out only jointly by the soul and
body together in this material world. But this, too, can at least partly
be overcome when those left behind do a little more commandments and good
deeds -- in honor and for the benefit of the dear Neshama.
More could be said on the subject, but I trust the above will suffice to
help you discover within you the strength that G-d has given you, not only
to overcome the crisis, but also to go from strength to strength in your
everyday life and activities in full accord with the Torah.
In your case there is an added G-d-given capacity, having been blessed with
lovely children, long may they live, with a strong feeling of motherly
responsibility to raise each and all of them to a life of Torah, wedding
and Good Deeds, with even greater attention and care than before, and in
this, as in all good things, there is always room for improvement...
*. Reprinted from www.chabad.org. A Hebrew translation is printed
in Torat Menachem - Menachem Tzion (Kehot, Brooklyn, 1994), Vol. 2,
Horav Schneur Zalman Halevi Shagalov OBM
(A Brief Biography)
Rabbi Schneur Zalman Halevi Shagalov was born in the year 5692 (1931) in
Homil to Rabbi Yitzchok Elchonon halevi and Mariasha Shagalov.
Mesiros Nefesh, was for R' Zalman a way of life. In 1937 the communist
regime arrested and executed his father for his anti-government actions of
teaching Yiddishkiet to Jewish children, and for being a mohel
and shochet. His mother quickly dispersed the children to trusted
people, to secure their spiritual and physical existence. Zalman was only
five years old at the time. His mother was moser nefesh to on her
own, raise her children and instill in them a proper Chassidic chinuch.
During the WWII it was possible for the family to regather in Samarkand,
where Zalman attended the Tomchai Tmimim Yeshivah, under the tuteledge
of the goan Rabbi Plotkin. After the war the opportunity to escape Russia
was available in the guise of Polish Refugees returning to their
country.Traveling through Poland and Germany they arrived in Paris where
Zalman was able to continue his studies in the Lubavitcher Yeshivah
of Brunoy. He studied and practiced shechita in Paris and London.
On Rosh Chodesh Elul 5717 (1957) he married his soul-mate Esther. In June
1959, they migrated to America and settled in Crown Heights. There R' Zalman
supported his family and at the same time, with the encouragement and backing
of his wife, devoted time to the Rebbe's inyonim and mivtzoim.
Davening with a minyan, was very important to R' Zalman. In
1960 there was no 7:00AM daily minyan in 770. Together with Rabbi
S.Z. Butman z"l, the 7:00AM minyan was begun.
In 1967 when the Rebbe spoke of Mivtzah Teffilin, R' Zalman
was one of the first to respond, helping to found the Tefillin campaign.
He arranged for men to go to various places i.e. hospitals, old age homes
etc. to put on Teffilin with other yidden. His children recall
going on Mivtzah Teffilin with him on Sundays. Today, there
are B"H chassidim who are still going to the same places for the past
In 1968, when Jews were first permitted to leave Russia, R' Zalman was one
of the founders of F.R.E.E. -- an organization that caters to the broad range
of needs of Jewish refugees from the Former Soviet Union. He was actively
devoted to working with them till the last day of his life, when he made
a call to ensure that the preparations for the weekly Shabbos
Kiddush were in order.
Throughout the years he was mekarev many of our Russian brethren.
He personally was responsible for thousands of children and adults
undergoingbris milah. He helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars
for the brissen. R' Zalman also labored to register hundreds of children
in Jewish schools.
His home was a Chabad House, welcoming visitors all year round and especially
on the Yomim Tovim. His children recall giving up their beds for guests,
when their father taught them the importance and greatness of the
mitzvah of Hachnosas Orchim --hospitality to guests.
R' Zalman also taught and involved his children in the importance of the
mitzvah of Ahavas Yisroel. He involved his children in many
of his good works. If a young parent needed to be taken to the doctor, the
Shagalov siblingswould babysit the little children till their father or the
children's parent returned home. If food or clothing were needed for families
who were too embarressed to go themselves to receive a public donation, R'
Zalman would stand in line for them for as long as necessary. He did everything
in a quiet way without making a big fuss.
Many would call R' Zalman for advice in all aspects of life. Through his
advice he was able to prevent many divorces.
His love for young adults was legendary. There are countless young men who
say that if not for R' Zalman's smile, warmth, hug and "chassidishe
kiss" and sincerity when speaking to them, they would not be where they
R' Zalman was a model of a Lubavitcher askan -- an activist
-- to whom the honor of the Rebbe, Lubavitch and Kovod HaRabbonimwas
all-important. He was a member of the Vaad HaNetzigim of Crown Heights.
For decades R' Zalman was in touch with hundreds of Rabbanim throughout
the U.S.A. and thanks to him they were drawn close to the great light of
R' Zalman was a member of the Vaad Siyum HaRambam HaOlami and
he brought many Rabbonim to particapte at the Siyumim.
R' Zalman also had a relationship with many non-Orthodox community leaders
and rabbis. He taught many of them Tanya and chassidus, and
brought them to receive a dollar from the Rebbe on Sundays. Several of them
were so impressed that they became Orthodox Rabbis due to R' Zalman's sincerity
R' Zalman was known as a man of action and one of the first to do a d'var
mitzva. Whether it had to do with a communal need or aid to individuals,
when R' Zalman became involved he involved others. People loved to help R'
Zalman because they saw his sincerity and his love for someone in need.
In recent years R' Zalman learned in Kollel Tiferes Zkeinim-Levi
Yitzchok near 770, where in his usual manner he devoted himself to the
mosad. R' Zalman couldn't believe in what condition the Kollel
room was in and immediately made changes for the benefits of the
kollel members. Today they are so thankful for what he did.
Whenever R' Zalman had a free moment he would always be found learning. When
he drove someone to a doctor, took his children to the grocery, or just did
a favor for someone, he would always have a sefer with him and learn
while waiting for them in his car.
He helped many shluchim all over the world in many ways. If a new
shliach started out and needed a sefer torah, R' Zalman
would arrange for him to borrow or get a sefer torah.
R' Zalman was an activist who could not stand aloof when work needed to be
done on behalf of the klal. In addition to his communal involvement,
he also gave shiurim daily in F.R.E.E. and in 770. In the past 8 years
he made 6 siyumin on Masechtos with his Russian
Talmidim. For many years he also gave a shiur in the
Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch.
On Sunday, Chof Tammuz 5766, July 16, 2006, after speaking to his
daughter and inquiring how his granddaughter was feeling, he collapsed in
the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. R' Zalman passed away around 7:00PM the next
day. He is survived by his mother Reb. Mariasha, his wife, Esther Shaindel
and his children: Yosef Yitzchok, Menachem Mendel, Chana Chaimson, Elchonon,
Miriam Tova Ben-Shushan; his brother R' Ben-Tzion and his sisters: Mrs. Shula
Kazen, Mrs. Roza Marosov, and Mrs. Rochel Levin-Liberov, and by his grandchildren
and great grandchildren.
A Tribute To My Zaidy
by: Yossi Light (grandson)
Zaidie had a very simple outlook on life. I was zoche that he made
the shidduch between Chaya and myself (along with Bubby) and I was
also zoche to have a special relationship with him from literally
the very first time that I met him.
He was not a person known to sit down and "farbreng". Zaidie always
felt very close with one of my rebbeim in Israel, Rabbi Charlop, and
Zaidie often opened up during conversations with him. A few months ago, Rabbi
Charlop was in the United States and he shared a Shabbos meal in my
house with Zaidie. Zaidie, in a very uncharacteristic way, literally
farbrenged with Rabbi Charlop for almost three hours at our
Shabbos table. I sat between the two of them and just absorbed what
was being said. I sat in the dust of the talmidei Chachamim, as it
says in Pirkei Avos.
Zaidie described many things. The first thing that he explained is how a
true Chassid of the Rebbe needs to conduct himself before and after
Gimmel Tamuz, and how, in reality, nothing in that field has changed
at all. Zaidie explained how in Russia he was a Chasssid of the
Freidiker Rebbe, although he never saw him even once in his entire
life. Despite this, everything he did was to give the Rebbe nachas.
Even though he could not see the Rebbe, he knew that the Rebbe saw him, his
actions, his thoughts, and especially his troubles. It was because of this
that EVERYTHING that he would do he would first think "what would the Rebbe
think? and how will the Rebbe get nachas from me?"
Zaidie went on to explain that for many years in America we were almost spoiled
that we got to live with and see our Rebbe on a daily basis. But, in reality,
nothing has changed. First and foremost, we are Chassidim of the Rebbe
at all times and we always need to know this and act like this. Zaidie explained
how after Gimmel Tammuz we can no longer see the Rebbe with our physical
eyes but the Rebbe sees and knows everything that we do and think and we
need to act in accordance.
For the entire family, it is very important to know that Zaidie is one of
our avos. When we are contemplating what to do in a certain situation,
we need to think what would Zaidie do? Zaidie right now knows and sees everything
we do, and he is in shamayim to daven for us and be a gutter
beter for Klal Yisroel and his family in particular. And by doing
that which Zaidie would do, we will give both Zaidie and the Rebbe
A Tribute To My Zaidy
by: Chaya Light, (granddaughter)
On Monday, Chof Alef Tammuz, when I was on my way home from work,
I got a call from one of my siblings telling me to come to the hospital.
I was reluctant to go because I didn't want to see Zaidie not in his usual
happy state. I wanted to have happy memories from him in my mind. In the
end I was convinced and went to the hospital to be with my family.
Everyone was there, all of Bubby's and Zaidie's children, the adult
grandchildren, and the two great granddaughters. Everyone had their turn
to say goodbye and ask Michila from Zaidie, but I still did not want
to go into the room. As it got later and I had already been in the hospital
for a few hours, I had to go home, but I still had not gone into the room
to see Zaidie. Finally, before we left, my husband suggested that maybe I
should go in and speak to Zaidie. In the end, I agreed and everyone was asked
to leave the room so that I could speak to Zaidie.
My husband and I went into the room alone and I stood next to Zaidie and
spoke to him. My husband explained to me what the numbers meant that were
on the screen that was monitoring Zaidie's condition. I spoke to Zaidie and
told him how much Bubby really needs him and his heart beat went up one number.
This was very good because it was slowly dropping. Then I went on to tell
him how much I love him and I asked Michila from him. As soon as I
was done I looked up at the machine and it started to beep loudly. The machine
showed that Zaidie's holy neshama returned to Hashem.
This was the epitome of Zaidie. He loved every family member dearly and would
not leave this world unless he said goodbye to each and every one. Every
time my husband and I left or entered the building where Bubby and Zaidie
lived, we always tried to make sure to say "hello" or "goodbye" to them.
Zaidie was only returning the favor when he showed his special love for me
as he waited to say goodbye before his neshoma left this world.
Goodbye Zaidie - I really miss you!
A Tribute To My Zaidy
by: Chaya Sara Shagalov, (granddaughter)
This past December I spent one week with my grandparents; a week that I will
be forever grateful. During my short stay, there were two instances where
I was able to learn from my Zaidy's kindness and dedication. Every time I
have gone to New York, regardless of the time, Zaidy would always be there
to pick me up from the airport. This past time, my flight was delayed for
an hour. For an entire hour, both of my grandparents spent their hour driving
around the airport, wasting gas as they drove.
The other memory of the trip that I remember was when we were playing
dreidel. The three of us decided to play driedel, and during
the game, my grandmother lost most of her gelt because of this Zaidy
would then give Bubby his gelt. As the game proceeded, Zaidy
also began to loose most of his gelt so I decided to give him mine.
This continued for quite some time; we decided to end the game with no victor.
Zaidy did not have to give Bubby his gelt, but he did. He never had
to do anything but he still did it anyways. Whenever there was a chance to
do a mitzvah Zaidy would run to do it.
Since my trip to New York I would call my grandparents every Friday to wish
them "a good shabbos." To me, it was just a phone call, but to my
grandparents, from their voice, I could tell that it meant the world. There
were times when I called and Zaidy was not home, but I knew that even though
I was unable to physically wish him "a good shabbos," that the message
would get across to him. Even though I have one less grandparent to say "have
a good Shabbos" to, I know that Zaidy is still here, sitting/standing
next to Bubby, and he also receives my "Good Shabbos" greeting.
Although he is no longer physically here with us, his legacy/ memory will
always live on. His smile, kind words, and love for a fellow yid will
always live on.
A Tribute To My Zaidy
by: Zahava and Odela Shagalov, (granddaughters)
One time in 2001 our family went to New York for Shavuous and our
parents' anniversary. While we were there, we had cousins come to visit us.
One of the cousins said things that upset Odella and she threw his
kippah out of the 4th floor window. Zaidy went down and got it for
Zaidy respected everyone and looked for their good qualities. He was a very
high person. He especially had a lot of respect for Bubbi. When he and Bubbi
visited us he always read and told us a lot of Chassidic stories.
Zaidy taught us how to respect people. He was always happy no matter what
happened. He was strong with everything he did and thought.
A Tribute To My Zaidy
by: Chaya Mushka Chaimson, (granddaughter), Age 11
What I miss about Zaidy….
Going down in the morning saying gut morgen1 and Zaidy and
Bubby would both say gut morgen and "hub a guten
Sweeping the steps for Shabbos every week Zaidy would come into the
building and be humming a tune and say wow! what a good job
mayn3 Chaya Mushke.
Waiting for the bus every morning Zaidy would come by and kiss me on my head
in front of the girls.
Whenever I had a question on Chumash4 or
Kitzur5 etc. -- I would ask Zaidy and he would answer my question.
Speaking to him in Yiddish. Zaidy & Bubby would listen to me only
if I spoke to them in Yiddish.
My Zaidy was special because……
Zaidy was special to me because I was his first grandchild that he babysat
for. He would pick me up from playgroup and bring me to his house until my
Mommy came home.
Zaidy had a lot of feelings for others and had a lot of Ahavas
Yisroel.6 Zaidy helped many people especially from Russia and
from his shul.7
Zaidy always went to shul early in the morning.
Zaidy was always learning in his free time. At night and on
Shabbos he would give a shiur8 in 770 or F.R.E.E.
Zaidy was always happy and had a smile on his face.
Zaidy & Bubby always had guest on Shabbos and Yom Tov even
when they didn't have a lot of food.
Zaidy loved a clean shul (F.R.E.E.). He would always make sure the
shul was clean and organized.
1. = Good Morning.
2. = Have a nice day.
3. = My.
4. = The Five Books Of Moses, i.e., the Torah.
5. = Code of Jewish Law.
6. = Love of a fellow Jew.
7. = Synagogue.
8. = Lecture/Class.
A Tribute To My Zaidy
by: Fraidy Shagalov, (granddaughter), Age 10
What I miss about Zaidy……
Zaidy & Bubby would eat at my house almost every Shabbos (Friday
Night meal). Zaidy always gave a good compliment about the food.
Every morning Zaidy would give me a kiss on my forehead.
Whenever Zaidy saw me in the morning and he was on the way to his car he
offered me a ride to school.
Whenever I had a question on Chumash I would always ask Zaidy to answer
Whenever we needed his car he would always let us use it even if he needed
By all of my birthday parties Zaidy & Bubby always gave me a sefer
as a gift.
My Zaidy was special because…...
Zaidy always had a big smile on his face.
Zaidy was never angry.
Zaidy learned a lot of Torah. Whenever we went on vacation he always had
a suitcase full of seforim.
Zaidy had a lot of Kibud Aim (he would always help his mother).
Zaidy always helped people with a smile.
Zaidy always drove Bubby wherever she needed to go.
The F.R.E.E. shul was very close to Zaidy. He always took care of
it with a smile.
Altogether Zaidy was a very happy man.
A Tribute To My Zaidy
by: Michal Ben-Shushan, (granddaughter), Age 6
Michal asked Bubby where's Shamayim?1 Bubby said why are you
asking? Michal said because my Mommy said Zaidy is in Shamayim and
I want to go see him!!
While discussing Zaidy the Shabbos after he was
niftar,2 Michal was asked what she misses the most about him.
She thought for a moment before replying, "The way he loves me!"
1. = Heaven.
2. = Passed away.
A Tribute To our father
(A few of the many e-mails that were received)
Reb Zalman had an ear to listen and if he wanted to get a message across
he always said it in a straight and aidel way without ever raising
Zalman showed us what it meant to be a Chassid. He was an honorable
person who was never concerned about anything material for himself but always
concerned abut what others needed, whether it was shoes, a coat, pots and
pans to make a kosher kitchen, a family's rent, Shalom Bayis, or a
warm smile and encouragement.
Your father was a powerhouse until his last day. He was full of
Meretz. May he be a ‘guter beter' a ‘Meilitz yoisher'
for us all. Here in ... I continuously hear from people about the open home
your parents had and the hashpoah your parents had on them. People
from the russian community and others.
We just had suffered tremendos loss for "klal isroel" This person
treated all "yiden" as his children and grandchildren. We all miss
him dearly like beloved father. My only hope is that his "neshoma"
will make great revolution in "shomayim" and demand the "Moshiach
TZidkeiny Bkorov Mamach"!!!!!
Reb Zalman was one of a kind and a very special person.
If you recall my first stop when I arrived in New York over 40 years ago
was in your house.
I will always remember the Hachnosos Orchim given to me and made me
really feel at home.
I will never forget Reb Zalman Z"T"L and the entire family.
A bochur said that I was in your Succah on Succos I
saw what it means to have orchim -- even though it was crowded we
felt that if there is place in the heart there is place at the table for
Having been raised in London, England, with very little extended family living
nearby, one of the most beautiful gifts I received in joining the extended
Levin - Shagalow mishpacha was that in addition to Chana Devorah,
I inherited by default, hundreds of loving and caring mishpacha.
Zeidy Berel Levin alav hashalom, was an extremely kind, caring,
compassionate family man and Chassid. My father's interaction with
him began many years ago whilst he was studying in Gateshead and would go
every Erev Shabbos to visit his grandfather in the nearby city of
Sunderland, where he and a few of his colleagues would spend a few precious
hours studying Tanya and farbrenging with Zeidy Berel. Little
did they know that many years later, Zeidy Berel would not only be our family's
butcher, but would volunteer and teach me in High School and eventually become
After his sudden passing, there was this great void. And finally, when I
was fortunate to join this beautiful family, to me, Feter Zalman OBM
took on the new role, so to speak, of being our family's Zeidy. Whether it
was a bracha under my Chuppa, hosting our beautiful and warm
Sheva Brachos, making every effort to attend EVERY simcha,
no matter how far distant, no matter how cold the night, Feter Zalman
would come early and stay late.
What stands out most to me, was his beautiful, warm infectious smile, his
cute chuckle, and loving embrace. Never can I recall an occasion when I would
meet Feter Zalman in the street, at a convention, at a simcha,
even at a Shiva, where he wouldn't come over and give me this warm
embrace and gentle kiss.
When I received the email of his sudden illness, and soon after of his passing,
I felt an immense pain and void, the same feeeling I felt after Zeidy Berel
passed away. These are special people, who lived in a difficult and trying
era. Yet, what they endured during this era of unwavering tenacity and commitment
towards Yiddishkeit & Chassidishkeit, and love for all
humanity is unmatched.
At times, I get this sudden jolt of reality that I am now at the age of my
life where I am the older sibling, the feter, and one day soon to
be a great feter, please G-d. Who better for me to emulate than our
dear Feter Zalman?
To paraphrase from a well-known song, "Who will be the Zeidys of our children;
who will be their Zeidys if not we?"
Yet, let's not kid ourselves. There is just no way we would be able to convey
to our future generations, if it were not for the heroism of special
neshamas, such a Feter Zalman, his father Zeidy Yitzchak Elchonon,
and those who preceded them.
To Mumma Esther: Chana Devorah, Minna, Frieda, Adina & Dovber join me
in wishing you much nechama and comfort, strength to withstand these
difficult times, coupled with blessings for continued health, happiness,
and nachas from your entire beautiful family.
To Yosef Yitzchok, Mendel, Chani, Elchonon, and Miriam Tova and respective
families: Thank you for sharing your father with us. May the memory of his
neshama continue be a blessing onto us all.
Rabbi Mendy Solomon, Great Nephew,
-- Shliach Short Hills, NJ
The last time I was in NY, was for just one day, about a week after
Pesach. As I had very little time to go visiting, I was hoping to
meet some relatives on the street. Sure enough walking down Kingston, I saw
Feter Zalman and we said a warm hello to each other. Nothing unusual about
meeting a relative on Kingston, but the beautiful greeting I got was something
special. There was such a "varemkeit" with that greeting, and as he
was walking with someone else, (i dont remember who) he introduced me: This
is my neice from... , on Shlichus in... There was such pride and joy
in his voice, it was contagious; it was exactly what I needed to go back
with Simcha... I am sure Hashem orchestrated our steps to meet at
The "Zalman Moment"
By: Gittel Rochel Shagalov (daughter-in-law)
Zalman is best known for his warm smile and his tremendous Ahavas
Yisrael which he did with the utmost genuine love, humility and simplicity.
He always greeted everyone he met with a smile and loving concern. During
shiva, so many people said that they felt they had lost their best
friend, even the UPS driver came upstairs with tears in his eyes, telling
us that the night before, every time he tried to fall asleep, he saw Zalman's
face and smile and he missed him very much.
One day during the shiva I was in the grocery store. As I waited in
line, ahead of me were two young brothers who were buying groceries for their
family. Their groceries cost $42.86, but as the boys only had $40, they asked
the cashier to put $2.86 on their family's account. The cashier started yelling,
"I can't put any money on this account because it's already over the limit.
The boys pleaded with her but she kept yelling so the whole store could hear,
"I can't do it. Your account is over the limit!" Finally she called the manager
over and he extended the family's credit.
I paid for my groceries and left the store thoughtfully. I knew that I had
just missed an important moment, what we now call, "The Zalman Moment."
I was wrapped up in my own little world while I was waiting in line, but
as I left the store, I realized if Zalman had been standing where I was standing,
he would never have let those two little boys be embarrassed by the cashier
like that. He would have tuned into the moment of their need and quietly
paid the cashier the amount that they were short, without any fuss.
I felt so bad about missing that "Zalman Moment," that I decided to return
to the store. I spoke to the manager and told him that I wanted to put money
on that family's account so that they would no longer be over the limit.
The manager looked at me strangely for a moment and then his face lit up.
He said, "No, no, no, you don't understand. That family doesn't have any
trouble paying the bill; they're just in the country right now and haven't
had a chance to come in and take care of it. Tizku l'mitzvot!"
As a returned home with the groceries, I had another "Zalman Moment." I passed
by one of the ladies on the corner who ask for tzedakah. Instead of
just handing her a quarter and rushing on, I paused and held her hand for
a moment as I gave her the coin and a bracha. Tears came to her eyes
and a big smile as she blessed me also.
When I came into the house, I told the family about my "Zalman Moments."
-- how my perception was starting to change and deepen as I look at the world
the way that I imagine Zalman sees it -- looking outward at other's pain
instead of inward at my own and then doing something to lessen their pain.
Our daughter Chaya Sara left for California soon after that, and she called
us from the airport all excited. "I just had a Zalman Moment!" she said,
"I was paying for something in one of the airport shops. When the cashier
routinely said, ‘Hi, how are you today?' I answered her, ‘I'm fine. How are
you?' and then I waited for her to answer. Her face lit up with the biggest
smile as she realized somebody really wanted to know about her day."
We would like to invite all who read this, to join us in looking at the world
through Reb Zalman's loving eyes. Please write to us via email:
email@example.com, and share with us your
stories and anecdotes of your own "Zalman Moments."
TIME FOR UNITY;
TIME FOR STRENGTH!
The most important principle in the Torah is the protection of Jewish life.
Right now, in Israel, and everywhere, Jews must stand together in unity and
do whatever possible to protect Jewish life.
The Rebbe teaches that there are ten important
Mitzvos we can do to protect life. Our father devoted much
of his time to the Rebbe's inyonim and mivtzoim. See what you
1) Ahavat Yisroel: Behave with love towards another Jew.
2) Learn Torah: Join a Torah class.
3) Make sure that Jewish children get a Torah true education.
4) Affix kosher Mezuzot on all doorways of the house.
5) For men and boys over 13: Put on Tefillin every weekday.
6) Give Charity.
7) Buy Jewish holy books and learn them.
8) Light Shabbat & Yom Tov candles. A Mitzvah
for women and girls.
9) Eat and drink only Kosher Food.
10) Observe the laws of Jewish Family Purity.
In addition the Rebbe urges that:
Every person should have a letter written for them in a Sefer Torah.
Every person should study either the Rambam's Yad Hachazakah -- Code
of Jewish Law -- or the Sefer HaMitzvos.
Concerning Moshiach, the Rebbe stated, "The time for our redemption has arrived!"
Everyone should prepare themselves for Moshiach's coming by doing random
acts of goodness and kindness, and by studying about what the future redemption
will be like. May we merit to see the fulfillment of the Rebbe's prophecy
English Translation of the Matzaivah:
Here is buried
the pious Chossid, G-d-fearing, faithfully involved in communal affairs,
devoted to deeds of charity and kindness,
energetic man of deeds and accomplishments,
the Chossid and Tomim,
Reb SCHNEUR ZALMAN, of blessed memory,
son of the Chossid and Tomim,
Reb YITZCHOK ELCHONON Halevi,
may G-d avenge his death,
He was deeply attached
to our holy Lubavitcher Rebbe, the King Moshiach.
He was among the founders of the FREE organization
for the purpose of bringing Jewish emigrants from Russia closer
to their Father in Heaven,
and to bring them into the covenant of our ancestor Avrohom, of blessed
He was their guide and mentor and helped turn many away from transgression.
He disseminated Torah by giving many regular Torah lessons;
he was among the organizers and activists of the [Rebbe's] Teffilin Campaign
he devoted great energy to benefit the Rebbe's [Crown Heights]
and to reinforce respect for Lubavitcher Rabbonim.
He was privileged to father generations of Chassidim
and Jews active in good deeds.
He passed away with a good reputation
on 21 TAMMUZ, 5766
May his soul be bound with the bond of everlasting life
In loving memory of
Horav Schneur Zalman Halevi
ben Horav Yitzchok Elchonon Halevi
Passed away on 21 Tamuz, 5766
And in honor of
Mrs. Esther Sheindel bas Fraidel Chedva
Dedicated by their children and grandchildren
The Shagalov, Chaimson, Ben-Shushan, Light, Abukasis