He looked them straight in the eye and they blinked by Rabbi Yosef Katzman

Reb Levi Yitzchock Schneerson o.b.m., was the Rabbi in Yekatrinaslav (now Dnepropetrovsk) Ukraine, technically he was the chief Rabbi of the Ukraine.

In 1939 Ukraine was under the rule of Stalinist Russia who declared religion as the opium of the humanity, and the communist regime ruthlessly persecuted all Jews who tried to hang on to their religion, and the vicious agents of the KGB used every means to pursue religion and their keepers, this included constant surveillance, down right to exile in the Gulag in Siberia to forced hard labor, to death by firing squad.

One of the terrifying methods that the communists employed was to plant an agent in every residential building, he was employed as the super of the building, but his real function was to spy on every tenant and report their activities and movements to communist party headquarters, and on their word one lives and one dies.

One late evening, just about midnight, a lady knocks on the Rabbi’s door, she enters and quickly shuts the door behind her, she makes sure that nobody else is there, and she tells the Rabbi, I have an emergency that must be attended to immediately.

In one hour my son will arrive with his fiancé, they want to have a Jewish marriage, he is a high ranking officer in the party, so if anybody finds out about this he’s finished, so we must do this in the dark of night, and make sure that nobody knows, hears or sees.

Reb Levik listened patiently, and told her to wait just there as he arranges for the Chupa to take place.

In exactly one hour the communist officer arrived, the brides face was covered as was the face of the groom, they were whisked into a side room until a minyan (10 men quorum) was present.

With every effort made at one in the morning, Reb Levik was successful in putting together 9 people, the 10th man was missing, and the Chupa can’t proceed.

Without blinking an eye, Reb Levik went down to the apartment of the super, who’s main target to spy on for the communists was the Rabbi of the city, Reb Levik Schneerson, he knocked on the door at one o’clock in the morning, the agent awoke from his sleep and asked what is the emergency?

Reb Levik responded; I must perform a Chupa right now, and I’m missing the 10th man, can you please come up to my apartment and make the Minyan?

The agent could not believe his ears, you mean me, the agent of the party should help you perform a religious ceremony?

Reb Levik nodded with his head, yes, and right now please.

The agent complied and joined the Rabbi upstairs, and he was the 10th man helping make the Chupa.

This fearless Rabbi looked the communist right in the eye, and he blinked.

On the 75th anniversary of his passing, this is the message that we take away from this great leader, who looked the communists straight down the eyes; he was the father of our beloved Rebbe, who like father like son, fearlessly took on the world, and he sent out thousands of his students and flowers to make this world a G-dly place.

And the world blinked.

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