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My Husband, My King

Hadas Fuchs

The rebbetzin of Toldos Avraham Yitzchak is the daughter of a talmid chacham, the wife of an admor, a mother of 16 children, and a confidante to many women. With so much wisdom and experience, she is a natural address for anyone seeking advice for every day and for the Day of Judgment.

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Rebbetzin, as Mrs. Sura Chana Kohn tlita is referred to by everyone, hails from a family of rabbanim and prominent Torah scholars. Her childhood home was permeated with yiras Shamayim. Her father, Rav Chaim Scheinbald ztz”l, was the rav of Moshav Bnei Re’em and a dayan in the Belzer community. At an early age, the Rebbetzin’s nobility of spirit and compassionate nature were already apparent. Her neighbors from the moshav enthusiastically recall her devotion and giving nature.

A whimsical example revolved around a popular treat: homemade meringues. Such sweets were not available in the store back then, and making it involved hours of beating eggs with a hand-held whisk to produce the stiff batter. The neighbors knew they could rely on this young girl for help, since she was willing to beat five full bowls of eggs every day if necessary.

When she was just five, the Rebbetzin lost her mother. “I was very attached to my mother,” she relates. “She was only 23 when she passed away, but considering what she left behind, one might have thought that she lived at least until 80.

“Even though I was only a small child, I learned a lot from her. My mother taught me always to think about the good, and if there’s nothing good at a particular moment, then to think about the good that will come. She always emphasized that we have the best possible reason to be full of joy; after all, we are Jewish and we have a great Father in Heaven. All of my mother’s powerful messages and sayings have accompanied me throughout my life, even at my most difficult moments, when all I wanted was for my mother to be at my side and to embrace me.”

Although the Rebbetzin was orphaned at a young age, she was not without a role model. “As a child, I watched my father learn Torah continually. I would get up at five o’clock in the morning to study for a test, and my father would already be awake and immersed in his learning. I absorbed all of his powerful aspirations, and I knew that I wanted to be a source of nachas to him.”

The Rebbetzin absorbed all the messages of her home and upbringing. While still young she had strong ideas about her destiny and goals. “I remember going to my aunt’s wedding in Englandwhen I was about seven years old. During one of the days of the sheva brachos, my new uncle, the chassan, asked me, ‘Do you also want a chassan like me?’ I responded candidly and said, ‘No.’ When he raised his eyebrows in surprise, I described my vision of my own future chassan: ‘My chassan will have long peyos, he will be a great lamdan, and he must be a rav, a Rebbe, and a dayan.’

“My uncle asked in surprise, ‘Why am I not good enough?’ And I responded with the innocence and candor of a child, ‘My chassan will learn Torah all day long and won’t engage in idle talk.’

“Baruch Hashem, I had the privilege of having my wishes fulfilled. When I reached the age of shidduchim, I knew exactly what I wanted, since I had trained for it my whole life. I also understood there were things I would have to forgo, since the practices in our Chassidus can be very rigid. But I have never felt that I had to sacrifice anything or force myself to do anything. On the contrary, I realized that it was a privilege for me to be more makpid than others on certain matters, and I should be happy about it.”

 

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