From his early childhood an on, R. Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch heard a prodigious number of narratives chronicling early Chasidic and family history from his grandmother, Rebbetzin Rivkah Schneersohn (1834- 1914), wife of R. Shmuel Schneersohn, fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe (1834-1882). He recorded many of these in his diary and eventually shared them with the Chasidic community. Thus, Rebbetzin Rivkah became a critical link in the chain of Chasidic oral tradition.
This installment of Historical Sketches focuses on the events of her life. We read of her illustrious ancestry and bitter orphanhood, and how later, when she became the wife of R. Shmuel of Lubavitch and daughter-in-law of the Tzemach Tzedek, she broke out of her earlier period of adversity, and experienced a life of tranquility, honor, and glory, building a serene household with her distinguished husband, which was admired by all.