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Shalashidus with the Rebbetzin

Margie Pensak

In the litvish enclave of Baltimore, Rebbetzin Malka Fayga Taub, wife of the Brider Rav, holds steadfast to her mesorah, radiating chassidish varmkeit to every Jew. Family First is privileged to join her for a Shabbos meal, and to hear her fascinating account of the legacies she continues.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hundreds of guests crowded around the kallah’s chair. The air was filled with mazel tov exclamations and the heady scent of flowers. Through the rainbow of color, I noticed Rebbetzin Malka Fayga Taub, wife of the Brider Rebbe, Rav Shaya Taub shlita. I inched past smiling faces toward her. I had always admired and liked the Rebbetzin from afar, but now was a chance have a real conversation. We chatted for a few minutes and then, together, entered the hall for the chuppah and sat down. As we got to know each other, I was grateful for the delayed chuppah. A few weeks later, I was excited to hear her phone message: it would be an honor, she said, if I could join her for shalashidus — said with her trademark, chassidish pronunciation. Late Shabbos afternoon, I approached the path leading up to the Taubs’ stately looking red brick house. I noticed the Rebbetzin sitting on a porch chair, a few seforim on her lap. She welcomed me warmly and held up one of the seforim — a majestic brown leather Tehillim with a silver design on the front, and an inscription from the Rebbetzin’s children. “This is the best gift my children could have given to me!” she said. The other volume was a leather-bound Pirkei Avos. The Rebbetzin’s home was humble and inviting, and as I made myself comfortable I immediately sensed the same aura I’d felt in homes of gedolim I’ve been privileged to visit. The Taubs hold a special position in the Baltimore community — they are the trailblazers of the present-day chassidish community. I was eager to hear their story. There’s a table set for Shalosh Seudos in the foyer, opposite the wall on which the Rebbetzin’s sewing machine stands tucked away in an armoire. “When I went to school, we had four days of learning and one day of sewing,” the Rebbetzin told me of her prized possession. “My joys in life are my kitchen and my sewing machine. When I moved to Baltimore, I told my husband that I must have these two things.” As we sat down, I wondered if I would finally learn why my hosts had decided to settle in Baltimore, a primarily litvish enclave that is home to Ner Israel.

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