What Would You Do If You Won The Lottery
Did you ever hear the expression "in the merit of the righteous women?" Of course! There’s almost no class, lecture, or text referring to Jewish women as a group that does not mention this saying. But did you know that there is an organization with this name, led by Ruti Cohen and Shterna Sara Kanevsky from Crown Heights, who constantly strive to do everything they can to bring about the true and complete Redemption? * About the organization "In the Merit of the Righteous Women" and the incredible help and guidance they continue to receive from the Rebbe MH"M

Ruti Cohen and Sara Kanevsky first met in one of the classes in the Beis Midrash L’Nashim organized by Ariella Benayoun. Their friendship grew, and many times they found themselves speaking about how to best inform the world that the Rebbe is Moshiach and that "he will redeem us" any moment.

One day they bought a lottery ticket and discussed what they would do with the money if they won… They decided they would use it for a lofty purpose – to publicize the besuras HaGeula. "The outcome of the lottery was a positive resolution," they say today with a big smile. "We didn’t win the million dollars, but we decided to publicize the besuras HaGeula even without the money!"

Sara: Ruti came to my house one day and said to me, "What are we waiting for? We can’t just sit around doing nothing just because we don’t have the money. The Rebbe MH"M said to act, and he’ll help us get the money." So we founded the organization "In the Merit of the Righteous Women."

We wanted to produce a pamphlet that would clearly explain the topic of Geula. We met every day. We immersed ourselves in mountains of s’farim and we gathered so much material that what resulted is a booklet of 32 pages, full of majestic pictures of the Rebbe MH"M (many of which were photographed by Shimon Roumani). Baruch Hashem, the booklet was a huge success worldwide. We’ve published 22,000 English copies so far.

Along each step of the way, we received guidance from the Rebbe MH"M through answers we received in the Igros Kodesh.

For example?

Ruti: We asked if we should include in the contents the test of the Akeida. In the answer we received in the Igros, the Rebbe MH"M wrote about Avrohom and Yitzchak. When we were trying to decide if we should publish the booklet in color, the Rebbe MH"M answered our request in a letter to someone who was doing publishing in black and white, but the Rebbe MH"M had written to him that the choshen ha’mishpat had many stones. We understood from this that the booklet should be colorful. Right after we got this answer, Shterna looked up from the Igros and her eyes rested on a flag in her house which has a picture of the Rebbe MH"M holding a seifer Torah. On the crown of that seifer Torah are some stones, and she told me that she sees four colors of stones. She asked in the Igros if we should use four colors, and the Rebbe MH"M said, "The four stones are for the four Imahos."

Besides the guidance we received in preparing the booklet’s format and design, there was incredible hashgacha pratis in the compilation of the material we included. It was just extraordinary – any time we learned a particular topic in our books, that same information was presented to us clearly in another way. We would begin a topic and then we would go to 770 and hear a class about just that topic, or Beis Moshiach would have an article about that topic, etc. I’m not exaggerating – each topic was presented to us like that, by hashgacha pratis, after we started learning it on our own.

We wanted the first edition of our booklet to be printed by Gimmel Tammuz of that year, but our proof was prepared too late for the printer to have it ready by then, and he told us so. I asked him, "Could it be ready by Gimmel Tammuz with miracles?" The printer responded that it could be ready "with miracles." I opened the Igros and it opened to the date of Gimmel Tammuz. It’s clear that miracles accompanied the booklet’s production as it was in fact ready on Gimmel Tammuz. You can see the hashgacha pratis and the involvement of the Rebbe in every aspect of the preparation of this book.

What topics are discussed in the booklet?

Ruti: The Nasi HaDor, prophecy, the halachic definition of Moshiach according to the Rambam, the first psak din that the Rebbe MH"M meets the criteria to be Moshiach, the Rebbe MH"M’s eternal life, the process of Moshiach’s revelation, Gimmel Tammuz, accepting the kingship, the Rebbe MH"M accompanying us nowadays, and miracle stories that are happening now.

What were some responses you received?

Ruti: We put our addresses and telephone numbers in the booklet for responses and comments. We got calls from England thanking us for the great inspiration the booklet gave the women there.

Sara: I have a friend, Batya Friedman, who works as a nurse in a hospital in Aventura, Florida. She was inspired by the booklet and she distributed copies to her co-workers and patients. One day she gave the booklet to a professor, Dr. Letterman, one of the top doctors in the hospital, who had an ailment and had to walk with a cane. Before he took it, as soon as he saw the picture of the Rebbe MH"M on the cover, he told her: "My partner was very ill with a certain sickness. The chemotherapy made him unable to have children. His wife was upset about that and divorced him. Some time later, he asked the Rebbe MH"M for a bracha for a certain experimental treatment. The Rebbe MH"M gave him a bracha that the treatment would be successful and that he would get married and have four children. And that’s exactly what happened – today he is the father of four precious children…"

The professor added, "The wonder is that out of one hundred people who underwent this treatment, only two were successful – my partner and one other man."

But the story isn’t over. The professor took the booklet Batya offered him. A week or so later he walked into the hospital without a cane. Batya saw him as he was walking and was puzzled. "Something is different about you," she asked him. "What is it?"

"Guess what? I took that book you gave me, I sat down and I read the book through and through, and all of a sudden I felt a change in my condition. I now only have to take a third of the pain killer that I used to take – and all of a sudden I don’t need a cane anymore!"

Another doctor walked in and said, "Good morning, doctor. Where’s your cane?"

The professor answered him, pointing at Batya, "Ask her – she’ll tell you!"

We also got a response from the Rebbe MH"M. After our publication came out, I had to go to the doctor. I had a copy of the booklet with me and I gave it to the physician’s assistant in the office, Tzipporah. I gave it to her on the 15th of Teives. She told me her husband would probably be interested in the booklet because he worked as a doctor in Mt. Sinai Hospital and met the Rebbe MH"M when the Rebbe was admitted there many years ago.

I went home and spoke to Basha Oka on the telephone, who wanted to plan a new project. While we were talking, I opened up the Igros, Vol. 14, page 282, and found a positive answer to Basha’s project. What I saw on the next page made my jaw drop – in a letter dated 16 Teives: "Thank you, thank you for the gift, the holy books that were sent through the special young man, Aaron Thal." As I was trying to remember who I gave the book to, an idea went through my mind... I called the doctor’s office and asked the secretary what Tzipporah’s last name is. She told me her name is Tzipporah Thal!

How many editions have come out until now?

Sara: We printed eight editions – five in English, two in French and one in Russian.

Regarding the French edition, I got an answer that mentioned my grandfather, the Chassid, R’ Peretz Motchkin, a’h, in which the Rebbe MH"M wrote to him: "Yashar ko’ach for your work in Paris." I saw that as a sign… Rabbi Matusof found us a professional translator in France to translate the booklet. When it was given back to us, we had to find someone here in America to edit it. We had two people in mind, but we weren’t sure who to choose. When I opened the Igros, the name of one of the people I had in mind was written there.

When the French edition was almost complete, we didn’t have enough money to publish the booklet. One day I summoned the fortitude to ask people for contributions. That night I counted all the money I received and I saw that the amount was exactly 770 dollars!

The number of Beis Chayeinu!

Sara: Not only that – 770 is the gematria of France, as the Rebbe MH"M said in his sichos...

One day I was going to go to 770. Before I left the house, I opened the Igros Kodesh. The Rebbe MH"M wrote "to do mivtzaim with the French." I immediately grabbed a stack of the translated booklets and went to 770. I wasn’t surprised to see that all of a sudden a group from France had arrived in 770.

What are your plans regarding a Hebrew edition?

Ruti: The Hebrew edition is just before the final proofreading. We are about to publish a Spanish edition, and there’s a plan to publish one in Yiddish. We have 7,000 Russian booklets available for distribution. Mr. Eliyahu Elkin translated the booklet into Russian for us, and Professor Yirmiyahu Branover did the editing.

Sara: While we were preparing the Russian edition, I needed to consult with the Rebbe on different occasions and I found myself repeatedly coming up with the name of Rabbi Levin. Whenever the name came up I immediately called the shliach Rabbi Levin in Flatbush, realizing that right then would be a good time to reach him. I told him that we are printing a book in Russian and that I thought he could use it. Then Ruti found out that Rabbi Levin was making a gathering for this past Yud Shvat. We gave him booklets, and at that gathering, Rabbi Levin gave out at least 1,000 copies.

If you had won the lottery, I wouldn’t ask – but where do you get the money to print so many copies?

Ruti: The Rebbe MH"M worries about that also! A few days after the first edition came out we distributed all our copies and we needed to print more. A short time later we opened the Igros and the Rebbe MH"M said, "I’m sending you a check." Just under an hour later the phone rang. A woman from Chicago was on the line. She wanted to donate towards the next printing in honor of her father’s yahrtzeit.

Sara: On my birthday I wrote to the Rebbe MH"M, and the Rebbe answered in the Igros, Vol. 12, page 152, with brachos for the birthday and then wrote, "Regards to your neighbor." I thought the Rebbe MH"M meant my neighbor who returned that day from Eretz Yisroel. I called her and I told her that the Rebbe MH"M gives her greetings. She was surprised and said, "I know why – because I wanted to contribute $500 towards your publication."

Mr. Rami Antian’s organization helped us out, and we have some anonymous sponsors. People sponsor our publication for yahrtzeits. Rabbi Naftali Astulin sponsored an English printing and a Russian printing for his Chabad House in California.

Besides the booklet, what other activities is the organization involved with?

Sara: Our organization joined up with the organization Basha Oka Botnick started – Jewish Women United for the Redemption. She saw our booklet and liked it. We joined forces and now we take part in the activities she arranges. She arranges lectures and farbrengens in different areas all around the New York area. She also arranges the speakers: Chava Cohen, the woman who presented the Rebbe MH"M with the tambourine that says "Yechi" on it, Ruti, myself, Shterna Shpritzer, and others. Women from all different backgrounds attend these lectures – religious, non-religious, Chassidic, non-Chassidic, you name it.

What topics do you present in the lectures?

Ruti: When we speak, we want to transmit the words of the Rebbe MH"M without leaving anything out. We present the material logically, step by step, and with the sources. The people really do accept our words and are inspired. The proof is that after the lecture, many women invite us to come lecture in their homes for their families and friends, because it’s important to them that they hear the message.

To start off we show a video, "The Revelation of Moshiach/Besuras HaGeula." This video shows people singing "Yechi," addressing the Rebbe as "Moshiach," and it shows how the Rebbe MH"M accepted it. It also shows Chana Cohen presenting the Rebbe MH"M with the tambourine with the words "Yechi Adoneinu…" on it. This video lets the women see that we are not just wishing that the Rebbe MH"M is Moshiach – they see the Rebbe MH"M accepting it and encouraging it. After that, we speak and then we respond to questions.

What are the responses from your audiences?

Shterna: Lately, we’ve been concentrating more on farbrengens. The women become so inspired at these farbrengens. Sometimes they cry from the intensity of their own experiences with the Rebbe MH"M. We have seen over and over again that most people already have some connection to the Rebbe MH"M, even those who we wouldn’t think would have had any previous connection. There are just no words to describe our experiences at these farbrengens.

Ruti: The feedback is very positive. One woman who works for the Jewish Press heard us at a lecture and wrote about us. She called our booklet a beautiful monograph. We have letters from many women thanking us because the lecture gave them the spirit and the strength to continue to believe. The Rebbe MH"M said that the world is ready, and we see it in the responses we get at the lectures.

How do you publicize the booklet?

Sara: We publicize it as much as possible in the media. For example, we put ads in The Algemeiner Journal, The Jewish Week, Maariv, and The Jewish Press. We distributed the booklets to the N’shei Chabad Convention, we mailed them out to the shluchim around the world, and we put an ad on the Zev Brenner radio show.

Once a woman came to 770 and was surprised to hear that the Rebbe MH"M himself announced, "The time for your redemption has arrived." She was adamant that everyone should be informed about this important message. It turned out that she worked for Channel 13 TV, and she made a film about the Chabad-Chassidic way of life and about the Rebbe MH"M. Now more than a million viewers of Channel 13 know who is Melech HaMoshiach.

In conclusion, what is your message to the readers of Beis Moshiach?

Ruti: Start to do something! The Rebbe MH"M is with us, watching us, encouraging us, strengthening us so we will be successful in spreading the besuras ha’Geula. If you just start, the Rebbe MH"M will help you in every way. Whoever wants to contribute their talents to spreading the besuras ha’Geula should organize, get together – and remember, every small action counts.

Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu V’Rabbeinu Melech HaMoshiach L’olam Va’ed!


One day I summoned the fortitude to ask people for contributions. That night I counted all the money I received and I saw that the amount was exactly 770 dollars!


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