6 Kislev 5778 24/11/2017

One Last Pesach in Chiali

Although release papers were eventually obtained, the Schneersons had to spend one last Pesach in Chiali. Unfortunately, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok ended up with food poisoning, which left him even weaker than before.

As the result of many strenuous efforts, the required funds and officially signed release papers were finally obtained. Batsheva Althaus, a daughter of the famous chassid, Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim, was assigned to take on the dangerous task of delivering them to the NKVD offices in Chiali and Rabbi Levi Yitzchok himself.

Six weeks after receiving the papers, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson was finally released from exile. This was one of the most difficult and tense periods of his life. He was already beginning to feel that he had reached the end of his fragile strength.

The festival of Pesach fell during this time. Once again the Jews of Kazil-Orda provided the Schneersons with matzos, kosher meat, and fish. Two days before the festival, Batsheva traveled to Kazil-Orda to bring these goods to Chiali.

Soon after midnight after the Seder, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok suddenly began to feel very sick and a doctor had to be called. It soon emerged that the fish had gone bad on the way back to Chiali and the resultant food poisoning had seriously damaged Rabbi Levi Yitzchok’s health.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchok’s imminent release had to be kept as a well-guarded secret because there were many others in his situation who were not so fortunate. It was considered better not to arouse their jealousy or resentment of the fact that no-one had made such efforts for them.

During Chol Hamoed Pesach, all the required documentation was finally received. Immediately after the festival was over, the Schneersons’ belongings were packed away. Every single item was important because everything was scarce during the war. However, this meant that their luggage was well over the permitted weight, which could have delayed their journey.

On the way to the railway station, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok met two young Jews who had also been sent into exile. One of them was a Cohen, and Rabbi Levi Yitzchok asked him for a blessing. The young man gladly agreed and he gave him a heartfelt blessing.

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Featured photo
The president of Kazakhstan presents the head shliach with a document signed by the government (in 2000) denouncing the persecution of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok.
The president of Kazakhstan presents the head shliach with a document signed by the government (in 2000) denouncing the persecution of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok.
31/07/2007
Featured gallery
A Gallery  of Notable Visitors to the Chabad Center in Almaty and the Tomb of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok
A Gallery of Notable Visitors to the Chabad Center in Almaty and the Tomb of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok
20/02/2007