Mrs. Chana Arnold, a vetran educator from Los Angeles, California, who merited to a special bracha from the Rebbe for agreeing to wear a sheitel, passed away on Tuesday, Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
By Anash.org reporter
Mrs. Chana Arnold, a longtime educator from Los Angeles, California, who merited to a special bracha from the Rebbe for agreeing to wear a sheitel, passed away on Tuesday, Rosh Chodesh Iyar.
She was 77 years old, and battled an illness in recent weeks.
Chana was born in Eretz Yisroel, where she lived for the first part of her life. In 1960, she became engaged to Rabbi Yitzchok Arnold. During the engagement, her chosson encouraged her to wear a sheitel after the marriage, in line with the Rebbe’s directives, but Chana was uncomfortable with the idea, and did not want to commit to wearing one.
She decided that she would write a letter to the Rebbe, describing here situation, and promising to cover her hair properly in another manner, sure that the Rebbe would agree with her.
A short while later, she got a letter from the Rebbe. The Rebbe strongly encouraged her to wear a sheitel, writing “how is it possible to be embarrassed of people, but not of Melech Malchei Hamelochim – Hashem?” In the same letter, the Rebbe gave Mrs. Arnold many blessings, concluding with a blessing for children and grandchildren.
“The very next day, I went to order a sheitel,” Mrs. Arnold recalled decades later in an interview with JEM.
Six years later, Mrs. Arnold did not yet have any children. Mrs. Arnold wrote a letter to the Rebbe, asking him to accept her for a yechidus for her birthday, a practice which had already discontinued. The Rebbe granted her permission.
In the yechidus, Mrs. Arnold held the abovementioned letter in front of the Rebbe and told him “Rebbe, I have a promise, black on white, for children. I did my part, and I want the Rebbe to give me a bracha that im yirtze Hashem, I should have children.”
The Rebbe smiled at Mrs. Arnold and told her “You shouldn’t say ‘im yirtzeh Hashem’ – if Hashem desires, but rather ‘b’ezras Hashem’ – with the help of Hashem, because Hashem wants, and Hashem will help!”
Indeed, over the coming years, Mrs. Arnold gave birth to eight children.
In the early 70s, the Arnolds moved to Los Angeles, which at that point had almost no Yiddishe infrastructure. In 1977, when the Chabad cheder and yeshiva opened, Mrs. Arnold immediately joined as a teacher, a position she held for over 40 years.
As a veteran educator, Mrs. Arnold taught generations of children in the Los Angeles community, leaving a lasting impression on thousands of students.
She is survived by her husband Rabbi Yitzchok Arnold – Los Angeles, and their children; Shloime Arnold – Los Angeles; Yaakov Arnold – Skokie, IL; Elka Arnold – New York; Dina Arnold – New York; Leora Budd – Pheonix, AZ; Chaya Sara Toron – Beachwood, OH; Devori Silver – New York; and Avremel Arnold – Hallandale, FL; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The levaya will be held today, Tuesday, at 3:05 PM at Cheder Menachem, continuing on to Congregation Levi Yitzchok at 5:00 PM, and then to Mt. Olives Cemetery at 6:30 PM for kevura.