An invitation to the Rebbe’s wedding in 5689 was discovered at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.
Several versions of the invitation were prepared for the wedding. The invitation at the National Library, discovered in the archive of Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, a cousin who moved at a young age to Mandatory Palestine, was sent to invitees who could not physically be present at the event but encourages them to celebrate from afar.
While the groom was then a student at the University of Berlin and the bride lived with her parents in Riga, the wedding was held in Warsaw because it was a central location and not under Soviet rule. Soviet authorities prevented Schneerson’s parents, who lived in Yekatrinoslav, Ukraine, from traveling to Warsaw to attend the wedding. They held a celebration at their home for hundreds of guests.
“At this early date, it wasn’t at all clear that Rabbi Menachem Mendel would eventually succeed his father-in-law as the Lubavitcher Rebbe,” said Rabbi Zvi Leshem, head of the National Library of Israel. “In hindsight, we see that not only did he become the rabbi of Lubavitch Hasidism, but without a doubt one of the most famous Chasidic and even Jewish figures known throughout the entire world.”
Schneerson’s cousin Levi Yitzchak also was born in Russia. When he moved to Mandatory Palestine he became a member of the NILI underground organization, serving as a liaison between its operatives and British intelligence during World War I. Following the war, Levi Yitzchak Schneerson reported on Arab affairs throughout what is today Israel, Jordan and Syria. He composed poetry, mostly in Russian, and published two books: an autobiography about his time in the NILI underground, and an early history of the northern Israeli city of Hadera.
The archive was recently reviewed with a grant from the Leir Foundation.