Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Dollar From the Lubavitcher Rebbe

16 Marcheshvan 5769

Here's a dollar bill that I received from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneursohn zt"l, on the 12th of Tammuz in the year 5744 (1984). Wow, I've been holding on to this thing for 24 years!

The Rebbe used to distribute dollars to his Hasidim in order that they would give the money to charity. I was told by the Hasidim that the custom is to keep the dollar as a momento from the Rebbe, and to give a different dollar to charity in its place. So the Rebbe's dollar has been with me for a long time. Not too long after I made aliyah, the Rebbe's dollar also made aliyah, along with some of my other momentos.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe was a righteous man and a great Torah scholar. Even those that opposed him, mainly because of the messianic undertones which were heard frequently among his followers, realized that the Rebbe was a great man.

I'm not a Hasid, so why am I holding on to this dollar? I owe a lot to Chabad. If it weren't for the Chabad House on my college campus, I don't know where I would be now. They had a profound effect on my life. Perhaps that will be a subject of a different post.

Fine, that doesn't answer the question of why I am still holding on to this dollar. I'll let "The Path of the Just" explain:
In the same way, the food and drink of the Holy man is elevated and is considered as if it had actually been sacrificed upon the altar. As our Sages 'of blessed memory have said (Kethuvoth 105b), "If one brings a gift to a Scholar, it is as if he offers up first fruit" and (Yoma 71a), "In the place of libation, let him fill the throat of the Scholars with wine." The meaning here is not that Scholars should lust, glutton-like, to fill their throats with food and drink (God forbid), but rather, as we have indicated, that Scholars, who are Holy in their ways and in all of their deeds, are literally comparable to the sanctuary and the altar, for the Divine Presence dwells with them just as it dwelled in the sanctuary. Their consuming of food is similar to the offering up of a sacrifice upon the altar, and the filling of their throats is analogous to the filling of the basins. In accordance with this view, anything at all which is made use of by them in some way is elevated and enhanced through having been employed by a righteous individual, by one who communes with the Holiness of the Blessed One. Our Sages of blessed memory have already referred to "the stones of the place" that Jacob took and set around his head (Chullin 91b), "R. Yitzchak said, `This teaches us that they all gathered together, each one saying, `Let the righteous one lay his head upon me.'"


Rafi G. said...

at least you had enough brains to save it. Unlike moi. I went as a kid, and spent the dollar. dont remember on what.

Cosmic X said...

Yatzah LaChulin.

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