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A Special Dollar

Shuli Sharon of Eilat, Israel, stood in line among the throngs who would come and wait their turn to meet the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a moment or two, to receive his blessings and a dollar for charity. Shuli, a young woman in her twenties, was in the United States as a tourist, to “clear her head,” as the Israelis put it, after completing her army service. Her friends had convinced her that her trip to the U.S. would be incomplete without a visit to the Rebbe.

During her trip Shuli had gotten to know a young man named David, and was unsure if they had a future together. She decided that she would ask the Rebbe’s advice whether to continue their relationship.

Shuli’s turn finally arrived and she asked the Rebbe her question. The Rebbe gave her a deep, penetrating glance and answered in a few brief words, which made her understand that David was not right for her.

Struck by the clarity of the Rebbe’s words, Shuli left the synagogue, her hands clutching the dollar the Rebbe had given her. Friends explained to her that she should give a dollar of her own to charity in exchange, and keep the Rebbe’s dollar for herself. Shuli had the Rebbe’s dollar laminated and has kept it in her wallet ever since.

Naturally, Shuli followed the Rebbe’s instructions and discontinued her relationship with David. After returning to Israel, the years passed, and Shuli did not marry until she was in her forties. Shuli and her husband strongly desired children, but they understood that at her advanced age, this would be difficult without specialized treatment.

During this time, Shuli heard from a relative that it was possible to seek the Rebbe’s advice and blessing through inserting a letter at random into one of the volumes of Igrot Kodesh, the Rebbe’s published letters. These volumes are collections of the Rebbe’s correspondence over many years, and cover a vast range of topics, including the Rebbe’s advice on all sorts of spiritual and material matters.

Shuli decided that she would try this means of communicating with the Rebbe. The fertility treatments were not going well and she felt dispirited. She hoped that the Rebbe’s letters would bring her blessing and solace. Her relative guided her in writing the letter to the Rebbe, and advised her to take on a good resolution before inserting the letter into the Igrot Kodesh.

After writing her letter, Shuli opened the book at random and read the letter on that page. The letter addressed to a woman who was in her identical situation. In his letter, the Rebbe encouraged the woman and directed her to go to a different medical center than the one she was using. Shuli understood that she, too, should switch to a different practice.

When Shuli visited the new clinic for the first time, she glanced at her newly opened file, and noticed that the number – 26603 – was familiar to her. Where had she seen that number before? It struck her – those were the first five numbers of the serial number of the Rebbe’s dollar, which she kept with her constantly! Shuli believed strongly that this was no coincidence. This was a sign that these treatments would bring the desired result.

A few weeks later, Shuli arrived at the clinic for a routine appointment. The doctor examined her and at the end he delivered the news: Shuli was pregnant. However, he informed her gravely that according to their tests, the fetus had Down syndrome. This chromosomal abnormality is found at a high rate among women who conceive at an advanced age.

Shuli left the doctor’s office, her mind in a whirl. Her dream was finally coming true – or was it a nightmare? For many days she could find no peace from her turbulent thoughts. The one who was able to calm her down was the Rebbe’s emissary in Eilat, Rabbi Mendy Klein. With his help, she wrote to the Rebbe again, and opened to an encouraging letter. The Rebbe wrote that the pregnancy would go well, and doctors have permission to heal but not to foretell the future.

At the advice of Rabbi Klein, Shuli began to attend a weekly lecture in Judaism. He explained to her that taking on positive resolutions would make a vessel for divine blessings, for her own wellbeing and that of her child.

Shuli’s pregnancy progressed normally. When she arrived at the hospital in labor, she was filled with faith that all would go well. That evening she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, with no signs of any congenital abnormality. The Rebbe’s blessings had been fulfilled in their entirety.


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