How the Rachmastrivker Rebbe became a Father after 21 Years of Marriage

How the Rachmastrivker Rebbe became a Father after 21 Years of Marriage

The following is an edited version of the story that appeared in the Mishpacha article “A Path all His Own” by Yisroel Besser and Aryeh Ehrlich.

27 years ago, a taxi navigated the twists and turns of the road leading to Jericho, near the Dead Sea. Two passengers asked the driver to stop, then made their way on foot across an empty field in the dead of night. The duo turned their faces upward as they scanned the heavens, hoping to catch a glimpse of the moon through the thick cover of clouds.

The twosome, Rav Duvid Twerski, the future Rachmastrivker Rebbe, and his good friend, Reb Yosef Gutfarb, had come from Jerusalem. It was the last possible night to recite Kiddush Levanah, the monthly blessing over the moon, but it was impossible to see even a trace of the moon, hidden behind a thick layer of clouds, in order to recite the blessing.

The two Chassidim decided to travel towards Jericho, maybe there the moon would be visible?

After an hour-long drive, the two passengers, who appeared to be fueled by a holy fire, asked the driver to pull over to the side of the road. But the clouds in the sky seemed to have their own plans for the night; they refused to unveil the moon hidden behind them.

After they had spent a long time gazing up in vain, an army jeep pulled up, and the soldiers demanded, “What are you doing out here in the middle of the night?” They explained that they were looking for the moon so they could say Kiddush Levanah, and that it was the last night it could be recited.

The future Rebbe pleaded with the soldier, “Perhaps you could call your base and find out where we can go to see the moon?” Impressed with the Rebbe’s determination, the soldier began inquiring over the radio if there were any other soldiers who were able to see the moon from their positions. A response crackled over the speaker. In the vicinity of Hebron, the moon was fully visible.

They thanked the soldiers and got back in the taxi, and headed towards Hebron. At a certain point, they finally spotted the moon. Overjoyed, the distinguished passengers bounded out of the car and began reciting Kiddush Levanah with great emotion.

The driver, meanwhile, worried that they were in a dangerous area and wanted to leave. The two men paid him handsomely and went back to saying Kiddush Levanah as he sped off. After they finished, another army jeep stopped beside them, and a soldier demanded to know what they were doing there. They explained the situation, and the soldier ordered, “Get in the jeep.” He drove them to the nearest checkpoint, near Rachel’s Tomb.

When they arrived at Rachel’s Tomb, the Rebbe told Reb Yossel, “We’ve come this far, we might as well go pray at Rachel Imeinu’s grave.” But they discovered that the compound was locked. With great effort, they managed to climb onto the roof of the building and began to pray as dawn stole over the horizon.

Reb Dovid, he of the joyous countenance, was despondent inside. It was twenty years after his wedding, and he and his wife had yet to be blessed with children. The doors of Heaven appeared to be sealed.

But that night, Reb Yossel Gutfarb realized that it was an auspicious moment. There, on the roof, he began to cry out fervently, “Mama Rachel, I am standing here with Reb Duvid ben Sara Greena, and he needs a yeshua, a personal salvation. He needs children!” He continued to cry out repeatedly, begging for the Rebbe to be blessed with children.

A year later, the streets of Jerusalem were filled with shouts of joy: twin girls had been born to Rav Duvid and his wife. These would be their only children. The Rebbe himself told over the story of that night and remarked, “It was in Reb Yossel’s merit that we experienced this joyous occasion, the birth of our daughters.Thank G-d.”


  1. I have goosebumps. Did they name them rochel and Leah?

  2. I just noticed, first comment from rochel, second from Leah. Lol

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email