A member of The Shul of Bal Harbor is an ardent sports fan. Once he went to the stadium to watch a game. On the way back home, he decided to stop at a gas station to pick up a lottery ticket. The stakes were high, and the pick was going to be that evening. He hoped to be a winner!
The clerk at the counter told him that the machine was not working, so he decided to try another gas station nearby. Here he bought the tickets and received his change, which he put into his pocket. That evening, when he emptied his pockets, he noticed that on one of the dollars there was some Hebrew writing. It said that the dollar was received from the Rebbe! He looked more carefully and among the writing it said “…for Naama”. The next day in shul, he met Rabbi Shea Rubinstein. He approached him and told him, I bought a lottery ticket yesterday and received some change. Well, I didn’t win the lottery, but I won a dollar from the Rebbe!
Rabbi Rubinstein asked him, “Did it say anything on the dollar?”
“Yes,” he replied, “there is a brocho written on it and the dollar says ‘for Naama’.”
Rabbi Rubinstein thought for a moment and said, “I know only one person named Naama. I grew up in Argentina, she lived across the street from us and was my sister’s best friend. They went to camp together and to Kfar Chabad for Seminary. She is married and lives in France. What are the chances that this Rebbe’s dollar was intended for her? I don’t know, but I can check.” Rabbi Rubinstein continues:
“As it turns out, Naama has a brother who lives in our community. I called him and told him that someone found a Rebbe dollar which says, ‘for Naama’. I asked him to please get in touch with his sister Naama and check if by chance she lost one of her Rebbe dollars. He called her in France, and sure enough after describing what was written on the dollar, she verified that indeed this was her dollar.”
Of course, when the shul gentleman heard this story, he was happy to give the dollar back to its rightful owner.
This is the story of the dollar:
When Naama was expecting her first child, her mother, Aliza went to help her daughter. She traveled from Argentina by way of New York. On Sunday, before leaving for France, she went to 770, to receive the holy blessing of the Rebbe for her daughter. The Rebbe blessed her and wished her an easy birth and gave her a dollar for brocho vehatzlocho. She started to leave, when the Rebbe called her back and said, “l’zaraa chaya vekayama” – for healthy and viable children, and gave her another dollar. She was surprised by this response and wrote it on the dollar, including the date it was given, 7th of Tevet, 5752.
When Naama’s mother came to France she gave the dollar to her daughter Naama. But how did this Rebbe dollar end up in Florida and in a gas station of all places?
Fast forward some twenty plus years:
This couple, Rabbi Berel and Naama Pachter, decided that it was only right to share their precious dollars. Slowly but surely they gave their Rebbe dollars they had accumulated over the years, to members of their community who were in need of a special brocho, bringing about yeshuot for many people.
When their children asked, “What about us?” they decided to save one dollar for each of their children. When their oldest son, now a Tamim, was sent on shlichus to Miami, his mother decided it was the appropriate time to give him his Rebbe dollar. The dollar she chose for him is the one which was given to her by her mother before he was born. He took it with him as he embarked on his shlichus, and put it in his wallet. One day while going on a bus in Florida, he took out a dollar to give to the driver for his fare. When his mother called to ask him if he had his Rebbe dollar, he checked his wallet and realized that indeed the dollar was missing. By mistake, he gave away his precious dollar. How thankful he was to know that the Rebbe found a way to see that the dollar be returned to him!
And the story continues:
At the end of the bochur’s shlichus year, a shidduch was proposed for him with a girl from Kfar Chabad. They went out, but he still was not sure about it. Around this time is when he got the Rebbe dollar back. When he looked at the dollar, and he saw the date, he felt it was a sign that she was the right girl for him. The date on the dollar was the 7th of Tevet – the exact day of the young lady’s birthday!
B”H they are happily married and the proud parents of two beautiful children!
From Shea Rubinstein, Rabbi of the Sephardik community at The Shul of Bal Harbor;
with help from Tzivia Lehrer, Naama’s friend as verified by Naama.