When Rabbi Yaakov Rubin and his son Zalman went to South Africa to attend a wedding, they made sure the wedding was only one part of a very dramatic adventure in Africa.
By: Anash.org reporter
The Rebbe’s mivtza of printing Tanyas has been taken to almost every part of the globe. There are a few rare countries that are yet to join the list of places still waiting for their very own Tanya printing. As of this week, Zambia and Botswana, Africa have been crossed off, thanks to Rabbi Yaakov Rubin and his son Zalman.
The Rubins were in South Africa attending a wedding, and took the opportunity to look up any countries nearby that still hadn’t had a Tanya printing. They looked for countries that had a semblance of civilization and a Jew or two to contact.
They checked in with Rabbi Zalman Chanin who is, in the words of Rabbi Rubin, “a guru in all things mivtza printing Tanyas”. They confirmed with him and got approval from Rabbi Shmuel Jacobson, to go ahead to Zambia and Botswana, two countries that are located above South Africa.
Arranging the printing in Africa is a a lot more complex than printing something in a first world country. The materials and supplies are limited, and many of the offers end up being a scam or are very expensive. None of this deterred the Rubin father-and-son team who determinably arranged both printings.
“In Livingstone, Zambia by the Victoria Falls, there is still one known Jew there,” shares Rabbi Rubin. “We gave him a Tanya and also left two at the Jewish Museum there. The printers there didn’t even have plastic sheets to cover them- it’s just a spiral booklet. Such is how limited supplies are there.”
In Livingstone, there is a Jewish cemetery from the times before the war. The Rubins went to visit the kevarim there and said some Tehillim for the many long-forgotten Jewish souls. They printed 100 Tanyas in Zambia, as per the Rebbe’s hora’os from past printings.
When launching the mivtza, the Rebbe explained that by printing Tanya in a location, it is bringing the wellsprings of Chassidus, indeed the source of Chassidus itself, to that location. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of this father-son team, two more countries had this light brought to them as well, preparing them, and the whole world, for the ultimate light of Moshiach.