A strong connection links Yud Shevat and Chof Beis of the same month. However, while Chof Beis Shevat shaped the way we remember you, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, Yud was the day that affected the second part of your life and maybe changed the plans and wishes you had in your youth.
Usually we get to know you, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, as a pure and holy soul. Coming from a family of greatness, the daughter of a Rebbe and the wife of The Rebbe, it was obvious that the Chassidim would like to see you as the best example of the Chabad common ideal. But is it really you that our community is trying to remember or it is possible that we are forgetting you and remembers our wishes?
Who were you?
Of course, a big part of your personality came from the importance of your family, but the details we are learning about you show us the image of a strong individual that not always behaved as the community expected. You were different.
You were different when you decided not to become a public figure in Chabad’s life and you were different when you smoked cigarettes in Europe. You were different when you enjoyed literature that is not part of the frum world, different when you drove a car, and different when you went to work at the public library.
Many stories are told about the Rebbe during your life in Berlin and Paris but what about you? What were you doing all those years? Far from the center of the attention, were you able, together with your sister, to enjoy life?
And how come your photo, showing you with bold nail polish, exposing some beautiful hairs on your head and wearing clothes that were obviously not that common in Chabad, couldn’t make the Chasidim talk about you and respect you for the way you were?
You were different and unique and you continued to keep that part of your personality. You felt the need to be hidden from the community’s life.
Were you happy? Would you have been more open had you known that we, the Chassidim , will accept you the way you are?
You know Rebbetzin ? Similar to what happened with your life, there are many who try to hide us too. They would like us to lie and pretend and they too, are lying to others about us.
Like you, as can be seen in the video from your testimony in the books’ trial, we love Chabad but at the same time, like you, we are not ready to give up and become something we are not.
Trying to get to know you better and remember you for who you were is a great source of strength for us, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender* and Queer people from Chabad, and for that we are thankful today.