Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Escorted by Generals

The Brooklyn Navy Yard, where the Lubavitcher Rebbe had worked upon arriving to America in the early 40's, housed a large auditorium where many individuals worked openly at their own desks, as well as offices, closed from view, for higher-ranked individuals. Someone sitting in the auditorium could see those who would enter or leave the building.

At one such desk sat a man who saw something daily that intrigued him. Every morning a pair of generals would walk to the door and escort a bearded Jew to his office, and every afternoon when this Jew would leave his office, two generals would escort him to the auditorium's door.

He wanted to know who this Jew was. One afternoon, when his curiosity finally compelled him to act, after the generals turned back, he followed the Jew from behind, then stopped, when he realized the Jew sat down at the bus stop. At a bit of a distance, he waited. Once the bus arrived, he hurried to get onto the bus before it closed its doors, to continue his tracking.

When the Jew alighted, he too got off. It was at Eastern Parkway, in Crown Heights. There he saw the Jew enter 770. He asked chassidim there who this Jew was and they told him he was the revered son-in-law of the (Previous) Rebbe.

This story, the man himself who tracked the Rebbe, also a Jew, told us one Shabbos, many many years laters. He was our Shabbos guest whom we hosted that Shabbos in 770, some 18 to 20 years ago, to "farbreng" with us.

The other thing I remember from this story, although its recollection is quite faded, and therefore on this next point I'm not entirely certain any more, is that the work at the Navy Yard entailed secrecy because it concerned the "Manhattan Project".

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