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Four years of hope and anticipation for the Rashbi Congregation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Years in which the community offered endless prayers on behalf of their beloved Rabbi Daniel and his wife, Orna Shahino, who had not yet been blessed with children.

At every community gathering, the congregants would pray for the rabbi and his wife. People accepted upon themselves good resolutions in their merit. Men laid tefillin, began to wear tzitzit and to study Torah regularly. Women committed to light Shabbat candles on Friday nights and holidays, and all of them recited verses of Tehillim or studied chapters of Tanya, in merit of the rabbi and his wife.

The Rashbi Congregation was like one family. All the members joined in each other's joys and sorrows.

Rabbi Shahino and his wife took action on their own behalf as well. In addition to the good resolutions they took upon themselves, they also sought advice from the most expert doctors in the field. In the meantime the years went by and the blessing still did not materialize.

The Rashbi Congregation had a regular practice -- every morning after prayers they would learn Jewish law together. One morning, following the brief lecture, Rabbi Daniel expanded a bit on the Rebbe's relationship to the topic at hand -- the laws of Family Purity -- and he told some stories of how the Rebbe guided couples who came to him for advice in this matter.

That morning, there was a new person praying in the synagogue. He stood up, introduced himself as Avraham Israel, and asked permission to relate a personal experience of his with the Rebbe, which had happened over twenty years earlier.

For many years Avraham and his wife had been married without children. During that period they lived in New York, where they saw many expert doctors who did not give them much hope. One doctor advised them to consider adoption, since he saw no way that the couple would ever have a biological child.

"My wife and I were devastated. The doctor's words crushed whatever hope we still had left. We felt that we had come to the end of the road.

"One day we heard of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and his blessings which had helped people in all sorts of trouble. I came to the Rebbe one Sunday, when he used to distribute dollars for charity and blessings. When it was my turn to pass the Rebbe, he stared at me intently, blessed me, and gave me a dollar for blessings and success.

"I remember that I was so awed by the Rebbe's presence that I couldn't remember at all what he said to me. I was helped by the person standing behind me, who repeated the Rebbe's blessing to me. I inscribed the Rebbe's words on the dollar I received.

"The meeting with the Rebbe moved my soul. I did not know how to express my inner spiritual feelings, but I knew with certainty that the Rebbe's blessing would materialize. I returned home filled with faith that we would soon have a child.

"We went back for consultations with doctors. I convinced my wife to ignore the pessimistic prognoses and to fill herself with faith and confidence. A few more years passed, and finally the long-awaited blessing materialized. Here," said Avraham, pointing to the 12-year-old boy at his side, "is the son who was born to us with the Rebbe's blessing.

"Rabbi," Avraham continued his unexpected monologue, "when you spoke about the laws  of Family Purity I remembered that you and your wife had not  yet been blessed with children. Please allow me to give you something special." Avraham took his wallet out of his pocket, drew out the bill he had received from the Rebbe and offered it to the rabbi. "For me, the dollar has already completed its mission. I hope that it will now do the same for you."

Silence reigned in the synagogue. Rabbi Daniel himself was very moved from the experience, as were all the congregants. In truth, he did not feel comfortable accepting the dollar, knowing as he did the value of a dollar from the Rebbe. But Avraham did not give in, and the other members also joined in to convince the rabbi to accept the dollar. In the end, Rabbi Daniel "gave in" and took the bill.

A year after Rabbi and Mrs. Shahino received the Rebbe's dollar, their oldest daughter was born. The joy in their community knew no bounds.

Word of this special dollar reached far and wide. It found its way to three more couples in the community, all of whom were later blessed with children of their own. Now it is in the hands of a fourth couple--and the whole community is praying and awaiting their good news, as well.
 

 


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