Weekly Chasidic Story #869 (s5774-47 / 24 Tammuz 5774)

Gilad Shalit and the Lubavitcher Rebbe

The day after her son, Gilad, came home, his mother contacted her Chabad emissary friends.

Connection: Seasonal: War Again 🙁

“I heard this story at the Kotel on Simchat Torah and thought it was too fantastic to be true… until I met the Chabad shaliach whose story it is in Shul this morning and heard it from him first hand. I’m recounting this to the best of my knowledge… I hope you’ll forgive me if I get any of the details wrong…”(as received in an email in 2011 by Shlomo Price of Tsfat)

“Rabbi Eliyahu and Chana Canterman are the Chabad representatives in Talbiyeh, Jerusalem. They are typical ChabadShluchim, with a home that is open to all, and always willing to go the extra mile for another Jew regardless of the inconvenience caused to themselves.

When they founded their Chabad House in the last decade, one of the projects that the Cantermans took on, along with other Chabad Shluchim in Jerusalem and local organisations, was to provide meals each day to the parents of Gilad Shalit, Aviva and Noam, at the protest tents outside the Prime Minister’s residence on the border of the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Talbiyeh and Rechavia. Over time, they became close friends with Aviva and Noam, providing not only food but emotional and pyschological support during this difficult period.

Around Purim time last year, Chana Canterman brought a special gift to Aviva Shalit along with her meal: a dollar that she had received many years before from the Lubavitcher Rebbe that was to be given to a worthy charity. “Take this dollar” said Chana, “and may it be a segulah (merit and omen) that Gilad be released this year”. Aviva accepted the dollar gratefully and carried it with her wherever she went.

Mrs. Canterman didn’t hear anything more about the dollar or think about it until she received a text from Aviva Shalit last Wednesday, the 19th of October 2011 (the 21st of Tishrei, 5712), the day after her son, Gilad, had come home. In the text, Aviva asked her if she remembered when she had received the dollar from the Rebbe. Unsure, Chana replied that she didn’t remember exactly when she had received it as it was over twenty years before, but that, as with all dollars given by the Rebbe to be distributed to charity, the date should be written on the dollar itself.

The date on the dollar that was given to Aviva Shalit before Purim, the dollar that Chana Canterman had received over twenty years before from the Lubavitcher Rebbe was Chaf (the 20th of) Tishrei, the exact date on the Jewish calendar that Gilad Shalit came home to his family and his people.

The Cantermans never publicized this story, as they don’t want people to think their motives for helping the Shalits were anything other than altruistic. However, I felt that it was too amazing, too inspiring a story to keep from other people.

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from an email received by Shlomo Price of Tsfat and submitted to, the local English language mailing list (original source of email not known to me or remembered by him-Sorry).


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

To receive the Story by e-mail every Wednesdaysign up here!