Today, 25 Adar is the yom holedes of our Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka o”h.
She was born on in Babinovich, near Lubavitch, on Shabbos, 25 Adar, 5661/1901. Her zeide the Rebbe Rashab asked that she be named after her great grandmother, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, wife of the Tzemach Tzedek. She was active in her father, the Frierdiger Rebbe’s, communal affairs, and traveled along with her him when he was exiled to Kostroma, Russia in Tammuz, 5687/1927.
On 14 Kislev 5689/1928 she married the Rebbe in Warsaw, Poland.
She arrived with the Rebbe to the shores of New York on 28 Sivan 5701/1941. After the histalkus of the Frierdiger Rebbe she was instrumental in encouraging the Rebbe to accept the mantle of nesius chabad. Her devotion to the Rebbe, specifically throughout the years of the Rebbes leadership, knew no bounds.
She passed away after a brief illness on 22 Shvat 5748/1988.
The Rebbe shared this day with us by instituting the Mivtza Yom Holedes, minhogim for one’s birthday, in 5748/1988, the first yom holedes after her passing. They include:
Torah: For men, having an aliya the Shabbos before, as well as on the day of the birthday, if it falls on a day of leining. To increase in the study of Torah – nigleh and chassidus – in additional to ones usual daily shiurim.
Tefilloh: To be extra diligent in your davening on that day. To increase in hisbonenus before davening, as well as your kavonoh during davening. To add in saying Tehillim, completing at least one of the five books of Tehillim as they are divided into five seforim.
Tzedokoh: Increasing the amount of tzedokoh that you give during the day.
New Kapitel: To learn the new kapitel of Tehillim that pertains to your age.
Maamar Chassidus: To recite a maamar – either in its entirety or part of one – on or around that day. Preferably during shalosh seudos after Mincha on Shabbos.
Ahavas Yisroel: to increase in your positive influence on others; spreading Torah and chassidus to those around you.
Cheshbon Hanefesh: Introspection. Seeing how your life has gone recently in the realms of Torah and Mitzvos, and to see what can use improvement.
Strengthening ones observance of Torah and Mitzvos: Taking on a new minhag or hiddur, just as he would on Rosh Hashonoh, starting with a new shiur in chassidus.
Farbrengen: making a farbrengen with friends on or around that day. If possible, to make a brochoh “Shehecheyonu” on a new fruit or article of clothing on that day.
Listen to the sicha of 25 Adar 5748.