“My husband visits the Ohel both times…”

Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka was born in Babinovich, a town near Lubavitch, on Chof Hei Adar in the year 5661 (1901), a regular year with only one Adar. While some may think this to mean that her birthday would be marked only in the second Adar, when asked in which Adar the Rebbe celebrated her birthday, she responded: “My husband visits the Ohel both times.” (As related by Rabbi Dovid Dubov as he heard from Reb Zalman Gurary, who asked the Rebbetzin.)

We also find that the Frierdiker Rebbe would celebrate the 25th of both months as her birthday, sending her his brochos for the day. One such example is from the year 5695/1935. On Tuesday 23 Adar Rishon, the Frierdiker Rebbe wrote to her, “This coming Thursday will be your birthday. I send you my brochos and loving wishes. May Hashem grant you and your beloved husband many long, sweet, and healthy years… May you be blessed with much riches b’gashmiyus and b’ruchniyus, and may Hashem fulfill all your requests for good and for brocha.” Then, a month later, on Friday 24 Adar Sheini, the Frierdiker Rebbe sent another letter, “Your birthday is tomorrow. I hereby send you, my beloved daughter, my heartfelt Mazel Tov with great brochos that you and your beloved husband should be blessed with all that is good, b’gashmiyus and b’ruchniyus.

(This is not the case only with the Rebbetzin’s birthday, as the Rebbe instructed a bochur in birthday yechidus in Adar 5733 to observe the Minhogei Yom Huledes in both Adar Rishon and Sheini. The Rebbe explained that although with halachic issues we determine which is the primary one, because these are minhogim, they can be observed both months. Reb Berel Lipsker has also shared that in certain years, he had his birthday yechidus with the Rebbe in Adar Rishon, and the Rebbe regarded it as his birthday.)

In a Sicha delivered on the 25th of Adar 5748 (1988), the Rebbetzin's 87th birthday, and about a month after her passing, the Rebbe launched the international birthday campaign in her memory. The Rebbe called on people to celebrate their birthdays and utilize the day as a time of introspection and making resolutions involving an increase in good deeds:

“A suggestion: It would be the greatest zechus for the neshama [of the Rebbetzin]; in connection with her neshama and its elevation, we should institute that all Yidden begin celebrating their birthdays...”

Chof Hei Adar holds a special place in the hearts of Chassidim, as the Rebbe launched Mivtza Yom Huledes for the aliya and zechus of the Rebbetzin on this day - her birthday. The Rebbe explained that the reason the importance of birthdays only became known to us in recent years is that as the final generation before Moshiach, we have the responsibility to transform the final birurim which can be accomplished through transforming a “regular day” into a Yom Tov by observing one’s Yom Huledes.

OrVechom.com/25Adar, a resource page from Vaad Or Vechom Hahiskashrus, boasts hundreds of resources connected to the Rebbetzin’s life birthday, including the Life and Times of the Rebbetzin, English Articles and classes about Mivtza Yom Huledes, Sichos about Chof Hei Adar and the Launch of Mivtza Yom Huledes, videos of Chassidim Farbrenging and Living Torah videos, a Collection of Letters from the Frierdiker Rebbe to the Rebbetzin on Chof Hei Adar, and much more!


Watch: ‘A Cause for Celebration’ from Jewish Educational Media