(April 16, 2018 / JNS) A silver-plated Kiddush cup used by the Lubavitcher Rebbe is going up for auction.
The cup that the Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson—used during prayers for “Grace After Meals” and in the Havdalah ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat and holidays is being put up for auction at the Kedem Auction house, complete with a letter from one of the rabbi’s close attendants, authenticating the item.
At the close of the Rosh Hashanah, Simchat Torah, Passover and Shavuot holidays, the Rebbe would recite Havdalah over the cup filled with wine, and then stand long into the night pouring wine from his cup into small glasses to hand out to his adherents, blessing them with “life and blessings,” and encouraging the men who were present to sing.
According to the Kedem auction website, “many miraculous tales have been told about personal salvations that came about through the Rebbe’s blessings during the ‘cup of blessing’ ceremony.”
Bidding for the small cup, which stands at a height of 8 centimeters, will begin at $18,000, though it is estimated to be sold for far more.
Schneerson was the seventh Chabad Rebbe. After the passing of his father-in-law, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneersohn—he was appointed head of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement based in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The new Rebbe established emissary projects all around the world, in which trained Chassidim set up Chabad Houses to provide religious and spiritual services for local residents and travelers, often in remote locations where Judaic life was inaccessible. Chabad services included assistance with kosher food, home hospitality, Torah study, classes, women’s programs and guidance in life-cycle events, with an emphasis on reaching out to non-affiliated Jews and encouraging them to connect to their Jewish heritage.
The Rebbe became known as a seer and miracle worker, whose blessings and advice were sought by thousands of people, Jewish and non-Jewish, around the world. He was accepted during his time as one of the greatest Torah scholars and Jewish leaders in his generation, and authored dozens of books.
He passed away in 1994 at the age of 92.