Rachel Zamir, a hereditary Chabad woman, who has devoted almost half a century to work in kindergartens and primary grades. Perhaps she chose the profession of “teacher” because she herself was almost deprived of childhood.
It is not a happy time when an eight-year-old schoolgirl has to bandage her hand every week or resort to other tricks so as not to write on Shabbat. A free Soviet sandwich with butter and sausage is also a problem: the teacher stands above his soul: “Eat with everyone!” And how it is …
In that pre-war Soviet school, the right to teach geography with mathematics was bought by the daily singing of the Internationale. Next comes the story of the war. What are the few lines that speak of an air raid on a train with children, which is being taken out of besieged Leningrad. Rachel is not Turgenev, but this line sounds even more intelligible and strong: “G-d kept us, and when the train was bombed, only the last carriages filled with provisions and equipment were damaged. They were immediately unhooked … We were saved! ” In the dryish “black-and-white” narration, which is led by Rachel, lightning is hidden between the lines.
After the hazing of the orphanage, the girl ends up with her relatives, the Sasonkin family, in the Chabad world of Samarkand. Rav Nakhum-Shmaryau, who lost two sons in Stalin’s camps, began to gather nephews and grandchildren after the war, sharing with them a piece of bread and his soul. Grandpa, why, when the food is on the table, you don’t immediately take the spoon? Rachel asks. And he hears the answer: – It is when you really want to eat, you need to stop and restrain yourself …
Once in Eretz and getting married, Rachel enters a state kindergarten in the Chabad system as a teacher. Over the years of her work, she received 200 letters from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which few people on earth can be proud of. There are several reasons why the head of the generation devoted so much energy to helping the humble teacher from Holon. Here’s one: Rachel was at the forefront of working with the Jewish soul. She gives a synopsis of one of the Rebbe’s letters:
– The Rebbe is glad that I started working in the Chabad system.
– The importance of early education.
In the early 50s, there was a big aliyah from the Arab countries. “Maabarot,” “Yemeni children,” drenched in the anguish of the “city of development” flashed on the newspaper pages. The Chabad kindergarten and school system was a response to the severed sideways, kibbutz upbringing and other Soviet dregs. “Chabad takes everyone” – this proverb was born in those years. When Rachel retired, someone (the Creator?) Ordered to pay all the money that she had been underpaid during her long teaching career. True, without pegging to the dollar. But there were letters from the Rebbe. And hundreds, thousands of meetings, when former students shouted or whispered: “You are my mother …”