What the Lubavitcher Rebbe Told my Friend to Name her Baby
I recently heard through the grapevine that my friend and neighbor, Chaya Lester, heard the voice of the Lubavitcher Rebbe instructing her what to name her now 3-month-old newborn son. Chaya is not a Chabadnik, and I knew this was a story I had to hear.
Here is the incredible story Chaya told me last night:
“I have 8-year-old twins and a 5 year old, and for years my husband and I were debating whether to have another baby.
“I had lots of fears about having another baby. Financial fears. Fears about how another baby would impact my other children. For years, I had been looking for signs, messages to guide me towards the right path for my family.
“One day, a bit over a year ago, I was leading a spiritual tour of Israel for some tourists. As part of the tour, we did a breath-work session at the Banyas in the North of Israel. During breath-work sessions, the goal is to use your breath in a guided and intensified manner in order to enter an altered state of consciousness. Sort of like doing hallucinogenic drugs, but without the drugs.
So when I was doing this breath-work session, the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, appeared to me. They came to me and explained that they had never had a child of their own and requested that my husband and I would have a baby for them, and to please name that baby after the Rebbe’s father.
“And right away in my heart I responded “Yes!” This vision gave me the clarity, and the super spiritual push I needed to take the leap.
“It felt like spiritual reassurance. Spiritual insurance!
“At the time, I thought the name of the Rebbe’s father was Yosef Yitzchak, the name of the previous Rebbe. And not long after that breath-work session I got pregnant. I knew that if it was a boy, I would name him Yosef Yitzchak.
“My husband, Hillel, though, didn’t like the name Yosef Yitchak. He said that if the name was something like Levi Yitzchak, then maybe he could go for that, since he felt a certain connection with Rebbe Levi Yitzchak from Berdichev whose yahrzeit was the same date as Hillel’s birthday.
“Then we found out it was a boy, and things turned serious. And I pointed that out to my husband. But he still didn’t like the name Yosef Yitzchak.
“I decided to speak to the Rebbe in my mind…and asked him to intervene in Heaven to help get my husband on board. And I prayed every day that Hashem should help my husband come around.
“Soon after that we did some research and realized the name of the Rebbe’s father was in fact Levi Yitchak, as my husband had hoped!
“But even though he preferred Levi Yitzchak over Yosef Yitzchak, my husband still didn’t feel such a connection with the name.
“And then Hillel found out that his birthday isn’t the yahrzeit of Rebbe Levi Yitzchak from Berdichev—it’s the yahrzeit of Rav Levi Yitzchak, the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s father!
“Hillel thought that was interesting, but he still wasn’t fully convinced.
“I prayed some more, and spoke some more with the Rebbe in my mind, requesting that my husband should agree to this name with a full heart.
“Around then, I was speaking with my aunt, and she told me something I had never known… that my family has a big connection with Lubavitch and the Rebbe’s father! She explained that my grandmother’s mother and father lived in the town of Yakatrinaslav at the same time that the Rebbe’s father was serving there as head rabbi. It wasn’t such a large town, and they must have known each other.
“Finally, Hillel was convinced…The name would be Levi Yitzchak.
“In the end the birth was incredible. An ecstatic, mystical, spiritual experience of oneness and beauty and pleasure. Except for the last 40 minutes which were very, very painful.
“And the worries I’d had? As soon as the baby arrived, they just didn’t feel relevant anymore.
“And now, b”H, we are enjoying our little Levi Yitchak so much.
“Thanks to Hashem, and the Rebbe and his Rebbetzin.
Please daven for my father who is facing some serious medical issues: Matityahu Tuvia ben Esther Tsiporah