The Rebbe Told Me to Care for Myself

While expecting her first child, Mrs. Chaya Hecht received a call from the Rebbe’s secretary instructing her to change her daily routine. Several years later, the Rebbe again advised her to make a change.

Mrs. Chaya Hecht related:

After being married for four years, we still had no children, and I came to ask for the Rebbe’s brocha. He said to me, “Did my father-in-law know about this situation?” I said that he did. “Then do what he advised.”

The Previous Rebbe had recommended that I go into a hospital and undergo various tests to find out why I couldn’t conceive. I never did that, but now I did. And I became pregnant – news which my husband joyfully reported to the Rebbe.

“How is she doing?” the Rebbe wanted to know. “Baruch Hashem,” my husband replied. “My wife is traveling on the buses, she’s washing the kitchen floor, she’s doing all the things a balabuste has to do.”

The Rebbe listened carefully to my husband and then had Rabbi Hadakov call me to say, “The Rebbe doesn’t want you traveling on buses right now. And he doesn’t want you to wash the floor anymore.” He was so concerned for me, for my health, now that I was pregnant at last. In fact, he had the secretary call several times to make sure I was taking care of myself.

This just goes to show you how much the Rebbe cared about every little incident in the lives of his chasidim, and that how he was like a father to all of us.

After I was already a mother of several young children, I recall him asking me, “Do you daven every day?” I answered that I say the Shema every day and also Birchas Hashachar, but I do not daven every day completely because I am busy caring for my children. “I need to be in tune with them so I don’t have any time when I can concentrate properly on davening.”

The Rebbe said, “If you would ask me if you should daven, then I would tell you that yes, you should daven every day, from beginning to end. The best way is to do it a little bit at a time, and to add more each day until you are able to finish the whole davening. Do that every day. Don’t be concerned with the children when you are davening – find somebody to watch them for that amount of time.”

Hearing his words, I said to myself, “This is going to be my new life and my new outlook.” And, from then on, I made sure I davened every day. And this had a strong impact on my life.

I felt that the Rebbe always had me in mind. He made sure I was taking care of myself physically and then also spiritually, when he urged me to pray every day and be connected to Hashem. He set my life in front of me. And that kept me going through all the years that I’ve been on this earth. I will never forget the times that I had the privilege of speaking with him. None of that has left me. Not to this day.

Download a printable version of Mrs. Hecht’s interview with JEM here. Watch the video here.

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