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Flashback: 22nd of Shevat 1988

By , Chabad Lubavitch Headquarters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    


(New York) February 11, 1988, Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia Schneerson, wife for sixty years, of Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, passed away early Wednesday morning, February 10, after a brief illness. She was 86 years old.

Rebbetzin Schneerson was the second of three daughters of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe.

The Rebbetzin was born in 1901 in Babinovitch near the Russian city of Lubavitch, on the 25th of the Hebrew month of Adar. During World War I, in the fall of 1915, she and her family fled Lubavitch and settled in Rostov. In the spring of 1924 they moved to Leningrad. In 1927, when her father was arrested by the N.K.V.D. for his efforts in strengthening Judaism among all Jews living under the Stalinist regime, she was instrumental in the efforts of bringing about his release. In the fall of 1927, on the day after Simchat Torah, the Schneersohn family moved to Riga, Latvia.

Before leaving Russia, Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia was engaged to marry the present Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson. They were married in Warsaw at the end of 1928.

They lived in Berlin until the Nazi regime took power in the spring of 1933, and then escaped to Paris. After the German occupation of France, they fled to Nice.

In 1941, after great effort by her father, who by then had settled in New York, the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin arrived in the United States and took up residence in New York. Upon the passing of her father, Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn, in 1950, her husband, the Rebbe, assumed the position of leader of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

The Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia Schneerson was an exceptionally brilliant and erudite woman. Her striking regal bearing, her gentle sense of humor, and her compassionate, considerate and sensitive manner, endeared her to all. She carried the mantle of her revered and exalted position in a most humble and unpretentious fashion.

The funeral, which was held within hours of her passing was attended by more than 15,000 people. Many managed to fly in from all corners of the globe to pay their respects and share in the Rebbe’s sorrow which, indeed, is their own.

A police motorcade and honor guard led the procession from her residence in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, proceeding past Lubavitch World Headquarters and on to the Old Montefiore cemetery, in Springfield Gardens, New York.

She was interred next to her grandmother and mother, and opposite the grave of her father, of blessed memory.

* * *

In response to numerous inquiries as how to honor the Rebbetzin’s memory, it is suggested that everyone strengthen their commitment to promulgate Torah study and Mitzvot observance.

Contributions in her memory can be made to local charitable causes or to the Fund established in her name at Lubavitch World Headquarters, 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York, 11213, which will serve a variety of purposes.

The above should be done immediately, even during the week of shiva.



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