Although I grew up in a religious family in Jerusalem, I did not have any real connection to Chabad until my sister married a Lubavitcher. This led me, in 1974, to the Chabad yeshivah in Kfar Chabad and eighteen months later to meeting the Rebbe in Brooklyn, New York.
When that happened, I felt I had discovered a treasure, and I decided to stay in New York for the rest of my life. I took a job as a teacher with the elementary school, Oholei Torah, and I felt I had the best of all worlds – I was close to the Rebbe, and since I was teaching in a Chabad school, I felt that I was working as his emissary.
When it came time to get married, my future wife, Toby, told me on our first date that she intended to go out into the world with her husband, who would serve as a Chabad emissary. “Wait a minute,” I said, “I am an emissary already – right here in Brooklyn.” But that’s not how she saw it.
This created a dilemma. In fact, her father asked the Rebbe if we should continue seeing each other, but the Rebbe just responded, “It’s up to the two of them.”
That is when I hit on an idea to win her over, because I already knew that I wanted to marry Toby. I told her, “You know what – when the time comes, let’s ask the Rebbe and whatever he tells us to do, we will do.” She agreed. “That’s good enough for me,” she said and, after meeting a few more times, we were engaged. (more…)