This book of Tehilim (Psalms) belongs to my mother. She received it in Brooklyn when she was eighteen years old and had just come to the United States from Iran, as part of a large group of young Persian Jews leaving Iran due to the revolution, who were housed and helped by the Lubavitch community of Brooklyn, under the leadership of The Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. More than thirty years later, my mother cherishes this Tehilim, and has given it to me to keep while I am away from home. While she is not at all as orthodox as this community, my mother treasures this Tehilim as a symbol of the spirit and mysticism of the Rebbe and of her gratitude for the kindness that she received from this community. She went on to go to university, become a psychologist, and helped her whole family move to the States, later met my father and had me. She comes from a long line of proud Iranian Jews for whom education, community, and philanthropy were paramount - stories of selling family heirlooms to fund the construction of a Jewish school in Iran, or of my great-grandfather translating the Tanach into Farsi for his community have become mythologized in the collective memory of my family. While it's still difficult to accept the extremity of the political situation in Iran, and the fact that she hasn’t been able to go back to her country in so long, this Tehilim serves as a reminder of my family’s beginnings here and of how fortunate we are.
– avva babaeean