B"H

A Tribute to
Horav Schneur Zalman
Halevi Shagalov
Of Blessed Memory

On the Occasion of his Shloshim,
and hascholas ksivas Sefer Torah
21 Menachem-Av, 5766

(Photo Credit: Chaya Sara Shagalov, Chanukah 5766)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Introduction
  • The Soul's Journey
  • Horav Schneur Zalman Halevi Shagalov (A Brief Biography)
  • A Tribute To My Zaidy:
  • Yossi Light
  • Chaya Light
  • Chaya Sara Shagalov
  • Zahava and Odela Shagalov
  • Chaya Mushka Chaimson
  • Fraidy Shagalov
  • Michal Ben-Shushan
  • A Tribute To Our Father
  • The "Zalman Moment"
  • Time For Unity; Time For Strength!
  • Picture of the Matzaivah
  • English Translation of the Matzaivah

MAZAL TOV
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

INTRODUCTION

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: yys770@aol.com. 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: http://www.torah4blind.org/rzs.

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 thought!

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, etc.

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...

With blessing,

__________

*. Reprinted from www.chabad.org. A Hebrew translation is printed in Torat Menachem - Menachem Tzion (Kehot, Brooklyn, 1994), Vol. 2, pp. 560-562.

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 39 years.

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 are today.

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 the Rebbe.

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 and warmth.

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 nachas.

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 him.

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 tog.2"

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 me.

Whenever we needed his car he would always let us use it even if he needed it.

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 his voice.

*

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 everyone

*

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 my Zeidy-in-law.

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.

With love,

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 that moment.

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: yys770@aol.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 can do:

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 now!

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,
SHAGALOV.
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 memory.
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 etc.;
he devoted great energy to benefit the Rebbe's [Crown Heights] neighborhood,
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
Shagalov
Passed away on 21 Tamuz, 5766

And in honor of
Mrs. Esther Sheindel bas Fraidel Chedva
Shagalov
*
Dedicated by their children and grandchildren
The Shagalov, Chaimson, Ben-Shushan, Light, Abukasis
familes


Back to "Living With Moshiach" Home Page