A Brilliant Mind’s $1.00 Ploy: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

remarkable people take the game of life to a higher level.

these individuals have the power to take others along with them for a ride.

in this instance, one’s simple act was actually one of great complexity. was it the vision of a great leader?

the lubavitcher rebbe, menachem mendel schneerson, in the 1980s, famously decided to make a practice of handing out one dollar bills.

menachem mendel schneerson was born in ukraine and immigrated to the united states. he was posthumously awarded a congressional gold medal for his “outstanding and lasting contributions toward improvements in world education, morality, and acts of charity.” while he was a rabbi, he was referred to as “the rebbe.” his brilliance and dedication made him synonymous with the term. he is considered one of the greatest figures in the 20th century and passed in 1994. wikipedia

the rebbe’s simple act became an event. individuals from all walks of life would line up to receive their crisp new one dollar bill from the rebbe. before special occasions, such as weddings or bar mitzvahs individuals would come to receive a blessing and words of advice and encouragement.

the act’s premise was to inspire charity. the dollar’s recipient was to take the bill and distribute it as charity.

while the premise made sense, human nature dictated that those crisp one dollar bills would not take that journey. the dollar bill meant something more for the recipients; a keepsake of their meeting the great rebbe. a document of their encounter with this unique inspirational figure. thus, a large number of these dollars were never circulated. one must assume the rebbe understood this would happen. judaism.stackexchange.com

his simple act meant even more. handing out the dollars made the rebbe available to the the public. he created a “must experience” event. he created an opportunity for individuals interact with him who might otherwise not do so. he created a gateway for people to understand his community, his religion and his being.

there are those who opined that the dollar itself carried meaning. “in god we trust” is printed on each crisp dollar. an exchange which carries with it an expression of universal appreciation of the master of the universe.

many of the rebbe’s dollars have their own stories. there was the one that was stolen from a charity box for which a thousand dollar reward was offered. nypost.com there was the one held by a young child who “locked the dollar in a little box with others she’d collected since she was seven. she donated a different dollar to charity to replace the one the rebbe had given her.” jpost.com

ms. cantermen stated “we felt a closeness to the rebbe. he was incredibly wise and intuitive, and tuned into what you needed to help you fulfill your potential. giving you a dollar from his private bank account was his way of empowering you by passing along strength from his own prodigious spiritual resources to help fulfill your potential.” jpost.com

if you go on youtube, there are videos that capture the rebbe in action. it is fascinating to watch an individual of such distinction in action. here is one short one.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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