Rubashkin: ‘Can I Go Back To The Cell?’ “I Have To Say A Prayer (Bentch)”

Excerpt from an article in this week’s Yated Ne’eman, Mei’afeilah L’orah – From Darkness to Light:

And so it was that on the last day of Chanukah, a guard went to Shalom Mordechai Rubashkin’s cell and told him, “Pack up and leave. Get going.” “What’s the problem?” he asked, not daring to hope. Maybe they were going to transfer him somewhere. That would not be unusual. “You’ll find out. Just get going.”

He had just washed for hamotzie in his cell for a humble seudas Zos Chanukah. He grabbed his tallis and tefillin with a small Chovos Halevavos inside and went to the prison office. After a few minutes, the warden appeared. “Congratulations,” he said, holding out his hand. “President Trump has commuted your sentence. You are free to go, as soon as someone comes to pick you up.”

“My father was shocked,” a family member related. ‘It’s a Chanukah miracle!’ he blurted to the warden. “After a few seconds of deepest heartfelt thanks to the Ribono Shel Olam, he came back to earth. ‘Can I go back to the cell?’ he asked. “I have to say a prayer (bentch).’” “‘No, you can’t go back there,” the warden said. ‘You stay here.’

“So he sat down and bentched until my mother came to pick him up. And what a bentching that was.”


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