At Menton Shore, Bochurim Sail for Portugal

Stopping in Menton, Southern France, the bochurim visited the house where the Rebbe Rashab prepared the Hemshech Ayin Beis, and set sail on a “S.S. Serpa Pinto” boat towards Lisbon, Portugal.

By reporter

The next destination on the bochurim’s itinerary was: Menton, Southern France. A town whose beauty of nature the Frierdiker Rebbe said was unmatched.

This resort town was visited by the Rebbe Rashab and the Frierdiker Rebbe for extended periods of time, and it is there that the Rebbe Rashab outlined and prepared the great Hemshech “Ayin Beis.”

Miraculously, this house is the only one in the area that was neither destroyed nor replaced (on Shabbos Parshas Vayeshev 5752 the Rebbe extolled the location). Even the balcony, described by the Frierdiker Rebbe in his memoirs, still stands. For over thirty years, the gentile owner had vehemently refused entry to anyone. Yet even he could not say no to the bochurim.

The excitement was immense. The Rebbe Rashab and the Frierdiker Rebbe spent lengthy periods here over several years. The first two pages of the beginning of Hemshech Ayin Beis were distributed to all the students, and the rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Moshe Orenshtein, taught the maamar. The bochurim thereupon took upon themselves a strong resolution to learn Chassidus every day, even when not in yeshiva.

Walking the seashore in Menton, the bochurim tried to identify the place where the Rebbeim famously saw Reb Zalman Zlatopolsky sitting among the fir trees, singing his niggun and immersed in a maamar he heard from the Rebbe Maharash.

Not far from there is the France-Italy border, which the Rebbe crossed during wartime with mesiras nefesh to obtain a Calabria esrog.

The students then sailed on a boat, placing on it a sign “S.S. Serpa Pinto,” the name of the ship on which the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin sailed to New York. The bochurim headed in the direction of Lisbon, Portugal, and returned. They will make their way to New York by a comfortable flight.

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