Online Auction 42 - Chabad

Special Chabad Auction in Honor of Chag HaGeulah Yud-Tes Kislev – Rosh Hashana of Chassidut - Marking the Date in which Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi was Released from Czarist Imprisonment

A Coin from the Rebbe Rayatz's Visit to St. Lewis, 1930 – "anyone who will have this coin will be protected from pain, and will be blessed with offspring, life and sustenance"

Opening: $1,000
Sold for: $5,000
Including buyer's premium

A penny for blessing from the visit of Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch, to St. Lewis in 1930.
Letter of authenticity enclosed (handwritten note, in English), signed in Hebrew by Rebbetzin Chana Gurary (1899-1991), eldest daughter of Rebbe Rayatz: "I hereby gift... the penny for the mikvah in St. Louis that my father gave me upon his return to Europe in 1930. Card not original". Dated – 5th November 1989. Enclosed is a small wooden money box, with a narrow slit in the lid for inserting coins, and a lock affixed to the front, which may have also been used by the rebbe or his family (the money box was given together with the coin, though it is not mentioned in the letter).

Attached is a small photograph of the Rebbe Rayatz (probably taken during his visit to St. Louis), wearing his "spodek", seemingly lost in thought; in the margin of the photograph is inscribed a blessing to those assisting in the construction of the new mikvah in St. Louis (Yiddish): "These words the holy Lubavitcher Rebbe said as he handed over this coin, when he was in St. Louis: 'I give to you this coin, and hope that in the merit of my holy ancestors, that anyone who will have this coin will be protected from pain, and will be blessed with offspring, life and sustenance'".

The Visit of Rebbe Rayatz to the United States
Some two years after his release from the Soviet prison and settling in Riga, Rebbe Rayatz made a trip to the United States. The purpose of the visit, which lasted for close to a year (Elul 1929-Tammuz 1930), was to raise awareness of the plight of Soviet Jews and to encourage and strengthen American Jewry.
Wherever he went, the Rayatz campaigned to strengthen and fortify Torah observance, and propagandized for Shabbat observance, laying tefillin and establishing Torah classes. He founded Agudas Chassidei Chabad and women's societies to promote Taharat HaMishpacha. On Shabbat, he would hold gatherings and deliver Chassidic teachings, and on weekdays, he would convene various meetings and receive people in private audiences. Towards the end of the trip, the Rayatz met with Herbert Hoover, president of the United States, in the White House (on 14th Tammuz). During their meeting, the Rayatz thanked the president for the freedom of religion given to American Jewry and for the help his government provides to Jews throughout the world.
The Rayatz ended his visit on Thursday, 21st Tammuz 1930. He set sail from the port of New York on SS Bremen and reached Berlin on 27th Tammuz. After spending several weeks in the Marienbad health spa, the Rayatz returned in the middle of Elul 1930 to his home in Riga.

Rebbe Rayatz in St. Louis – 6-15 Iyar 5690
During his long visit to the United States, Rebbe Rayatz spent ten days in St. Louis, Missouri, from Sunday, 6th Iyar, to Tuesday, 15th Iyar, 5690 (1930), where he busied himself with strengthening religious observance and Torah institutions in the city.
The Rayatz vigorously campaigned for the establishment of a women's society for the strengthening of Taharat HaMishpacha, and the construction of a new Mikveh. The campaign bore fruit, and a women's society was established shortly thereafter (see Igerot 482 and 502).
A long and detailed article in the website, features an interview with the late Mrs. Faye Zeffern, who describes the efforts to erect a new Mikveh in St. Louis; there was a dire need for a new Mikveh, as the old one was in a bad state. In the wake of the great depression, the economic situation was dire, making it difficult to arrange the necessary funds for the erection of a new Mikveh. Two concerned recently-married local women, decided to take advantage of the famous Rebbe's visit to raise money for the new Mikveh. During a public meeting in "Shaare Zedek" synagogue, they managed to attract the Rebbe's attention, and convey to him the pressing need for a new Mikveh. The Rebbe Rayatz responded that a special committee should be formed, and that he will assist the committee in any way necessary.
Additionally, the Rebbe Rayatz presented the women of the committee with pennies for blessing, to be handed-out to those who donated money for the purpose of constructing the Mikveh.
The following week, an advertisement by the women's committee was published in the local Jewish newspaper, "Der Yiddisher Rekord", informing the public of a banquet which will be held in the "Beth Emunah" synagogue, during which, Pennies for blessing by the Rayatz will be distributed, alongside a photograph of the Rebbe's (see: here).
According to the enclosed authenticity letter, Rebbe Rayatz kept one of the blessing Pennies – Intended to be given to donors for the purpose of the erection of a new Mikveh in St. Louis – which he later presented to his eldest daughter, Rebbetzin Chana Gurary, after his return to Riga.

Good condition.