Special Chabad auction in honor of the yahrzeit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn on the 3rd of Tamuz and in honor of the Chag HaGeulah on the 12th-13th of Tamuz of Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn - the Rayatz of Lubavitch
This auction features letters and rare items of Chabad Rebbes and of their wives, the rebbetzins.
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Set of Silver Forks Used by Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch During His Exile in Kostroma – With Letter of Authenticity ...
Sold for: $10,000
Auction house commission: 25%
VAT: 17% On commission only
Set of Silver Forks Used by Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch During His Exile in Kostroma – With Letter of Authenticity Signed by His Daughter Rebbetzin Chanah Gurary
Six silver forks used by Rebbe Rayatz while in exile in Kostroma in 1927.
Silver forks, with the hallmark of Kostroma and the maker's mark – ИІМ (late 19th or early 20th century).
Letter of authenticity enclosed (handwritten note, in English), signed in English by Rebbetzin Chanah Gurary (1899-1991), eldest daughter of Rebbe Rayatz: "I hereby gift… a Silver set of forks my father used in Kostroma. My father stayed in the house of Yerachmiel Kugel a shochet who lived there. The hallmarks show that they were made in Kostroma. My father used them to eat fruit". Dated 17th September 1989.
On Wednesday, 15th Sivan 1927, shortly after midnight, the OGPU – the Soviet secret services, burst into the home of Rebbe Rayatz in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and after performing a rigorous search in his belongings, they brought him to the notorious Spalerka prison. The official reason for his arrest was his raising funds for yeshivot and establishing illegal ties with people outside Russia. However, in truth, it was his fearless activities to preserve the Jewish ember throughout Russia that angered the authorities and led to his arrest. In face of the communist regime's policy of oppression of any trace of religious activity, the Rayatz set up a large underground network of Chabad Chassidim whom he sent wherever Jews could be found, to establish boys' schools and yeshivot, and run synagogues and mikvaot and perform Brit Milah and kosher shechitah.
After several days of exhausting interrogation, the Rayatz was sentenced to death without judgement. However, intense international pressure was put on the Russian government (the efforts were led by the Jewish parliament member in Latvia Mordechai Dubin, Dr. Oskar Cohn member of the German Bundestag, and head of the Russian Red Cross Yekaterina Peshkova), and the death sentence was commuted for three years of exile in Kostroma (small town on the banks of the Volga with a small Jewish community, 800 km away from the Rayatz's home in Leningrad). On Sunday, 3rd Tammuz 1927, after 19 torturous days in prison, the Rayatz boarded a train for Kostroma, accompanied by his young daughter Chaya Mushka and his son-in-law R. Shemaryahu Gurary (husband of Rebbetzin Chanah, signatory of the enclosed letter) .As stated in the enclosed letter, while in Kostroma the Rayatz lodged in the home of the local shochet and mohel, R. Yerachmiel Kugel.
In her testimony, R. Yerachmiel's daughter, Mrs. Rosa Melamed, who was 12 years old at the time, describes her memories from the Rayatz's stay in her parents' home in Kostroma: "The rebbe was sent to us be a Jew from Leningrad, Aharon Kuznetsov… the rebbe was a good, kindhearted and polite person. There was something holy about him… in my memory he remains G-dly… my mother cooked for him, and my father organized prayers in our house on Shabbat. Everything was arranged for him in the best way possible. Our synagogue was compelled to close, and our home became a synagogue… the local Jews were in awe of the rebbe… others would climb on the fence of our house to have the merit of seeing his face… my mother would bake challah and other baked goods… we bought berries for him, and many strawberries, and he lived on strawberries. I don’t know if my mother cooked them for him, but we would arrange them one the large table in the courtyard – we had a large yard – and he ate them there, and offered us all some… the rebbe would bless us every morning. He would ask how we are and then go pray and learn. He always had books with him… the rebbe blessed us all with good health, and that we should never experience ourselves the suffering he was going through… when he described what he had undergone, our hair stood on end! A nightmare. How they tortured him… he was in town for ten days. He was sentenced to exile in Kostroma, but he was released after ten days only (see Jem website: https://he.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/1558521).
The storm in the Jewish world over the Rayatz's arrest did not abate, and the pressure on the Russian government to release him continued relentlessly. Eventually, after ten days of exile in Kostroma, the efforts to rescue him bore fruit, and on 12th Tammuz 1927, the Rayatz was informed that he was free to return to his home. His discharge certificate was only given to him the next day, on 13th Tammuz. Since then, the day of the Rayatz's release is celebrated by Chabad Chassidim throughout the world – Chag HaGeulah, 12th-13th Tammuz.
Six forks: 13 cm. Good condition. Stains, bends and minor defects.