The Rebbe’s First Cousin


The Rebbe’s first cousin, a daughter of the Rebbe’s father’s brother, was Israeli poet Zelda Schneerson Mishkovsky. Known simply as Zelda, she won the Bialik Prize and was widely read – and loved. Born in Russia in 1912, she passed away in Jerusalem in 1984. She had made aliya with her mother in 1926. Marcia Falk has translated a her poems, and a bilingual edition has been published. The following poem is taken from that work (you can click on the image for a larger version):


Zelda remained Orthodox her entire life. Marcia Falk’s book contains a brief biogrophy that should be of interest to many Chabadniks.

A special thank you to Schneur for his help on the genealogy of Zelda and it’s link to the Rebbe.



Filed under Chabad History, Poetry

5 responses to “The Rebbe’s First Cousin

  1. Nigritude Ultramarine

    Nice, poem. I have never heard of this person (though I’m not into poetry).

    By the way, is The Spectacular Difference: Selected Poems of Zelda (Paperback) at Amazon a dual language book (Hebrew/English) or just English?

  2. Nigritude Ultramarine

    Oops! I just saw that a bilingual edition is available.

  3. Schneur

    Nice comment. Yasher Koach !
    Zelda was indeed a well known Israeli poet.
    The Hebrew author Haim Baer related that the Israeli writers archive (sic) wanted letters the Rebbe had , that were written by Avrohom Shlonsky to the rebbe (he was a cousin of the rebbe). In return the rebbe wanted materials written by various Schneerson rabbis that Zelda had and a trade was arranged.
    Zelda was a frum women in the classical sense. She did not run after others to be frum nor wear her devoutness on her sleeves.
    She was an introvert and with her husband a member of the Mishikovsky family (of Krinik)
    lived a modest life style far removed from the PR world of contemporary Chabad.
    Again Yasher Koach !

  4. mikhaelmeir

    More trivia about her: The poetess Zelda was also the 1st-grade teacher of Israeli novelist Amos Oz. He touchingly describes his ardent childhood crush on her in his recent memoir “A Tale of Love and Darkness”.

  5. Scam Alert

    the pro chabad blog did something on her a year ago. scotty a day late and a dollar short

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