I recently received this story via an e-mail that is being passed around. I have no idea if it is true or not. (If anyone does know, I would appreciate hearing from you.) If it is in fact true, then all I can say is wow... what a remarkably kind and generous woman Rivka Holtzberg a"h must have been.
Rivky Holzberg's Shlichus Lives On
Submitted by Dena Gottlieb of Modiin Ilit, Israel, Thank you.
Sometime during the shiva for Rivky Holtzberg Hy"d, a young woman came into the Rosenberg home. She told Mrs. Rosenberg that she had something for her, and handed her a small package. Curious, Mrs. Rosenberg opened it and gasped. Inside was Rivky's diamond ring and one of her nicer Shabbos dresses.
"How did you get these?"
The young woman gently told Rivky's mother, "Let me tell you my story."
"I had been traveling in India. Somehow I ran afoul of the law and ended up in an Indian jail. You cannot begin to imagine what an awful, horrible, primitive place it was... The only redeeming factor is that the jails there are quite disorganized, and those who are in charge are corrupt. Somehow I managed to escape.
"The first place I ran to was, of course, the Chabad House. Everyone knew that that's where you went when you needed help. Rivky welcomed me, fed me, and told me that it was vital that I get out of the country. I knew that - but I was very afraid. What if they would check me, check my passport? Then Rivky gave me one of her Shabbat dresses and her diamond ring. 'If you look very dignified, a well-dressed married woman with a ring on her finger, they won't look too closely at you. They will leave you alone. A woman with a diamond ring is in a different class. She's a respectable woman. She's not a criminal, someone who has escaped from jail. They won't bother you.'
"I took the dress and the ring and as you can see, I got out safely. And now I have come to give you Rivky's dress and her ring that she lent to me."
Rivky's mother took the possessions of her beloved daughter. Then she told the young woman, "I recently saw Rivky and noticed that she wasn't wearing her ring. When I asked her about it, she told me 'zeh b'shlichut.' It's on shlichus."
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