6 years after the marriage,at the young age of 23,the rebbe Maharash began his communal activities.Some time during their 1 st and 8 th year of marriage (1849-1858) a daughter Devora Lea was born.
When rebbetzin Rivka was 18 (in 1851)she fell ill and the physician ordered her to eat immediately upon awakening.She,however,did not wish to eat before davening so she davened very early,then ate breakfast.When her father-in- law,the Tzemach Tzedek,learned of this he said to her:’’A Jew must be healthy and strong.The Torah says about mitzvot,’Live in them”meaning bring vitality into the mitzvot.To be able to infuse mitzvot with viality,one must be strong and joyful.’’Then he concluded:’’You should not be without food.Better to eat for the sake of davening and not for the of eating.’’ He then blessed her with long life.
Rebbetzin Rivka and her husband worked with selfsacrifice for the sake of the Jewish people. Rebbetzin Rivka was very active helping them plan their infant’s circumcisions, their children’s weddings, and the like. Her husband gave her many beautiful gifts of jewelry. Of course, she valued these gifts dearly, but of more value to her was the mitzvah of tzedakah. When she was in need of money to give to the poor, she would pawn the jewelry and then distribute the money she received to the poor.