The following story was already publicized and caused quite a stir around the world. It involves a child named Hillel Cohen from Yerushalayim, Ir Hakodesh. Hillel stayed at 770 Bais Mashiach for the month of the festivals of Tishrei 5764 (2004), and on one of the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot he was photographed beside the bima of the Rebbe, shlita, MH”M, while the chair and the shtender were prepared (this was following one of the minyanim).
When they developed the photo, something astonishing was revealed.
The Rebbe appears in the photo standing next to Hillel with his back to the picture.
Mrs. Malka Ezra of the neighborhood of Gilo in Yerushalayim tells the following about the picture:
During my work taking care of the children of the Cohen family, I was a witness to several wonders that the Rebbe showed in connection with this photo.
Everything began when Hillel returned home after the month, of Tishrei 5764 after spending it in the Rebbe’s daled amos of 770. Hillel brought with him an important reminder of his trip–a disposable camera with which he took a lot of photos of his special moments of Tishrei in 770.
At his request I developed the film in the camera at a local store. When the pictures came back, Hillel was very disappointed that only one picture came out clearly, and all the rest were completely blurry. When we returned home and took a loot at the pictures, we were very surprised when we saw that in the one photo that came out clear, the Rebbe appears standing alongside Hillel with his back to the picture!
I had no doubt that this was him. I know Hillel and his family and all the children as completely honest and truthful, and I never heard a lie from any of them. Hillel claimed excitedly that no one had been standing next to him when the picture was taken. I have no doubt that we are speaking about a photo of the Rebbe from the year 5764 (2004).
I was overjoyed about this special revelation, and I ran to tell all my friends about it. I publicized it on Chabad websites and I made hundreds of copies of the picture and spread them around Israel.
Here I encountered a response that I hadn’t imagined. People were actually angry at us and were saying that we were making a mockery of Chabad! People began to ask questions and to doubt all the details that we said.
On the other hand, there were also many positive responses. People that accepted the photo told about the encouragement and strength that they received from it, or about the way the photo influenced their acquaintances and students.
On one Shabbat, I was in a Chabad House in Gilo and I was discussing the photo with R’ Zeev Bentzion, a Chabad Chosid who lives in the neighborhood. He was doubtful about the whole thing, and in the end he decided to ask the Rebbe through the Igros Kodesh.
Since it was Shabbat he couldn’t write, and instead of this he asked the question verbally. After he said “Yechi”, he opened the book (volume 7, page 150-51) and when he started to read the answer we were both astonished. The Rebbe, MH”M, answered clearly in a way that leaves no room for doubt:
After a lengthy break, his letter was received…in which he informs…that he already sent the photo…and tshuot chen (thanks and appreciation) for the effort in this, and seemingly – this is in continuation of the letter that I sent thorugh him to the brother of R’ Cohen, and certainly also in the future he will make efforts in these ways…and tshuot chen (thanks and appreciation) for the photos and in particular for the good tidings on the matter of their activities…and surely they will make the effort now to continue this matter, after “theplowing and the sowing” they will harvest also the crop and the fruits, and Hashem will bless them with success in all this.
[to be continued, G_d willing]