Online Auction 44 - Chabad

A Special Chabad Auction on the Occasion of "Yom HaBahir", Yud (the 10th of) Shevat – Day of Passing of the Rebbe Rayatz, and Day of the Ascendancy to Leadership of the Lubavitcher Rebbe"

Ear Trumpet of Rebbe Rayatz – Used to Talk to His Wife Rebbetzin Nechama Dina, Who Was Hard of Hearing

Opening: $1,000
Sold for: $1,500
Including buyer's premium

Ear trumpet used by Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Rayatz of Lubavitch, to talk to his wife Rebbetzin Nechama Dina, who suffered from hearing loss.
Ear trumpet – fabric-covered rubber tube, with a mouthpiece at one end which the speaker puts to his mouth, and an earpiece at the other, which the listener holds to his ear; made from Bakelite (the device acts as a kind of funnel that collects the sound waves and directs them into the ear).
Letter of authenticity enclosed (handwritten note, in English), signed in Hebrew by Rebbetzin Chana Gurary (1899-1991), eldest daughter of Rebbe Rayatz and Rebbetzin Nechama Dina: "I hereby gift... the ear bell shaped device to help my mother hear. During my mother's pregnancy with my youngest sister Shaina (Sonia) she lost her hearing. At the beginning, she still heard a little. My father would talk into the device and the other side went into her ear. Later she became completely deaf. This device was how my father spoke to her in the first stage [of her hearing loss]". Dated – 12th February 1989.

Rebbetzin Nechama Dina's Hearing Loss
In a video interview held in 1997, the grandson of Rebbe Rayatz, R. Shalom Dov Ber (Barry) Gurary relates how he met his wife Rebbetzin Mina (née Haskind), after they came to the United States in 1940: "I met Mina… soon after we came to the United States. She probably was at the dock to welcome us. But then, when I – we were at the Hotel Greystone, grandmother needed lots of help. My grandmother was totally deaf. She had become deaf during the birth of her last child. So, so she really needed help in terms of doing things. And my mother needed help. And Mina was always willing to give it. And she also helped me to get acquainted with America, like helping me visit the World fair in 1940, and various other things".
(Another version connects Rebbetzin Nechama Dina's hearing loss to an affair which took place in Lubavitch in the spring and summer of 1906 – known as the "1906 pogroms". A student in the Tomchei Temimim yeshiva in Lubavitch became connected with the Poalei Zion Zionist-Socialist movement in the town. The Rayatz, then director of the yeshiva, decided to lock the student in a room in the courtyard until his father would come to bring him home. In response, his comrades burst into the rebbe's court armed with pistols, demanding his immediate release. A great commotion ensued, and several shots were fired. Although no one was hurt, Rebbetzin Nechama Dina was deeply traumatized, and suffered from severe shock which led to gradual hearing loss. Concerned for their safety, the Rayatz and Rebbetzin Nechama Dina were compelled to flee until the danger had passed).
In Igrot of Rebbe Rashab, there are many mentions of the hearing difficulties of Rebbetzin Nechama Dina, his daughter-in-law, as well as various recommendations for medical treatment, doctors and experts, etc. In his letter from 8th Adar 1904, a month and a half after the birth of his granddaughter Shaina (21st Tevet 1904), the Rashab quotes various medical recommendations for the treatment of the vertigo Rebbetzin Nechama Dina was suffering from. Other mentions, pertaining to medical examinations and the various medication prescribed by doctors, are found in the letters from summer 1906, during the "1906 pogroms" (letters 928, 936, 938, 940, 941, 945), as well as in his letters from 1910-1913 (letters 208, 245, 247, 248, 250, 251, 291, 324, 360, 364, 1221-1224).
In his letter from 15th Elul 1910, the Rashab recommends buying her a hearing aid in Russia, assuming they are superior to those being sold in other countries (letter 1232).
Years later, on 2nd Tammuz 1939, the Rayatz asked R. Eliyahu Simpson in the United States to send him material about electronic hearing aids (Chasid Ne'eman, p. 262). According to the enclosed letter, the present ear trumpet was used by Rebbe Rayatz to speak to his wife Rebbetzin Nechama Dina, in the early stages of her hearing loss, before she became totally deaf.

Length: approx. 36 cm. Good condition. Tears and wear to fabric.

"Items and Objects of "Beis Rabbe