Photo Credit: Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

But a Hungarian counterintelligence agent who was friendly to Jews whisked the Rebbe, his younger brother and his gabbai into Hungary. Beards and side-locks shaved off, they were disguised as Russian generals who had been captured at the front and were being taken to Budapest for interrogation. Throughout the drive across German-occupied Poland to Hungary they had one close call after another but miraculously evaded detection. At one checkpoint they were detained and almost exposed, but then, as if from nowhere, a high-ranking Hungarian official appeared and ordered that their vehicle be let through.

There was great excitement when news of the Rebbe’s arrival in Budapest reached the Jewish community. My father, like many others, sought a meeting with him. When it became known that my father was going to Budapest to see the Rebbe, countless Jews came to our home with kvitlech – petitions – asking the Rebbe for his berachah.

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So it was that my father arrived at the Rebbe’s dwelling carrying a suitcase filled with these kvitlech. When the Rebbe beheld the suitcase and its contents he said, “Believe me, I simply have no strength, but I give over to you all the berachos. Whomever you bless will be blessed.”

This was the mandate my father entrusted to me.

(To Be Continued)

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