By: Yitzchak Langer
On Shmini Atzeres this year I was caught in a terrible traffic jam while heading back to Maryland from Virginia. I was still on the VA side of the Potomac River when I ran out of time and had to exit my car. Some nice Goyim found the location of the Vienna Chabad House some 6 miles away. I managed to make it to the house at the end of Hakafos (I was lucky that Chabad does Hakafos on Shmini Atzeres) & was fortunate to meet some of Rabbi Levi's congregants. They took me to his house where I was treated like royalty. The Rabbi and Rebbetzin fed me and gave me their daughter Mirel's room to sleep in. The next day I walked back to Silver Spring. The walk was about 20 miles and it was raining when I set out for home. On Sunday Rabbi Levi called me at home to make sure that I made it alright. He was an exemplary man and although my encounter with him was brief it touched me made a lasting impression. He was a man to look up to and I will hold this past Shmini Atzeres close to my heart for the rest of my life. I will remember him with fondness and adoration for years to come, and I hope that Miriam, Chaya, Mirel, Mendel, and Zalman are comforted with the mourners of zion.