Weekly Chasidic Story #1281 (s5782-43) 28 Sivan 5782/June 27, 2022

"A Timely Delivery"

"The Rebbe blessed him and handed him two dollars, saying, "One for you, the second for the taxi driver."

Connection: This coming Shabbat is the 28th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

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A Timely Delivery

An American Jew, before immigrating to Israel, went one Sunday to 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, to receive a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe blessed him and handed him two dollars, saying, "One for you, the second for the taxi driver."

The man was somewhat amazed by the second dollar and the Rebbe's instruction. Still, he saved both dollars in his wallet, and when he arrived in Israel with his family, he thought about giving the dollar to the taxi driver who drove them from the airport to the Absorption Center, where they would stay until they found their own place. However, realizing that the driver was pre-occupied and visibly nervous, the man judged that the Rebbe did not mean this driver.

There were other taxis over the years, of course, but none of the drivers seemed to fit the bill. And so, the dollar remained in his wallet. For twenty years!

One day, not long ago, our now "veteran" immigrant was riding in a taxi in the Tel Aviv area. He saw that the driver did not wear a skullcap, but had a book of Psalms near his seat and had pasted on the gear stick a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

They started talking. The driver told him that in recent months he had decided to try and strengthen himself to be more in harmony with his Jewish roots, and as a result, he was now studying Torah regularly at the Chabad Center in his neighborhood.

"Finally!" the man thought excitedly to himself, suddenly recalling the "mission" the Rebbe had delegated to him. He took out his wallet from his pocket and said to the driver, "Here; take this, please. It is a dollar the Rebbe told me to give to 'the taxi driver'."

The driver stamped on the brakes! The cab suddenly swerved sideways, fortunately stopping safely at the side of the road.

The driver turned to the startled passenger and said excitedly: "Do you know what you did? Since I started my return to Torah and mitzvot, it has been difficult for me at home. My wife is not agreeable at all.

"Today she challenged me again. 'What are all these ridiculous beliefs you've adopted? For example, you actually think it makes sense for the Rebbe to send you a dollar for a blessing? The Rebbe is gone! Let's see him send you a dollar today!'"

The passenger now understood what was the Rebbe's intention by "the taxi driver," twenty years earlier.

Source: Freely adapted by YT from the rough translation of the reliable R. Shlomo Weinstein of London, father of my daughter-in-law, Naomi.

Connection: This Shabbat is the 3rd of the Jewish month of Tammuz, the 28th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Biographical note: Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe: [11 Nissan 5662 - 3 Tammuz 5754 (April 1902 - June 1994 C.E.)], became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty after his father-in-law's passing on 10 Shvat 5710 (1950 C.E.). He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century. Although a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and fluent in many languages and scientific subjects, the Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet. His emissaries around the globe dedicated to strengthening Judaism number in the thousands. Hundreds of volumes of his teachings have been printed, as well as dozens of English renditions.

Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

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