Black Wool Hat (Kalpak) of Rebbe Rashab – With Letter of Authenticity by His Eldest Granddaughter Chana Gurary – ...
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Black Wool Hat (Kalpak) of Rebbe Rashab – With Letter of Authenticity by His Eldest Granddaughter Chana Gurary – "He wore it for many years in the winter months"
Black wool hat of R. Shalom Duber Schneerson – the Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch.
Kalpak hat, made of black wool. With red fabric lining.
Letter of authenticity enclosed (handwritten note, in English), signed in Hebrew by Rebbetzin Chana Gurary (1899-1991), eldest daughter of Rebbe Rayatz and granddaughter of the Rashab: "I hereby gift… my grandfather's [Rebbe Rashab] black lamb winter hat. He bought it in Paris and wore it for many years in the winter months. My grandmother [Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah Schneersohn, wife of Rebbe Rashab] gave it to me as a gift shortly after my grandfather passed away." The letter is dated December 3, 1989. Enclosed is a large box (leather-covered wood), which was possibly used by the Rebbe Rayatz or his family (the box was given together with the hat, but is not mentioned in the letter of authenticity).
Rebbe Rashab (1860-1920), the fifth Chabad Rebbe and prominent leader of Russian Jewry, was frail and sickly, and frequently travelled to various health spas in Europe, to consult with specialists. He took advantage of these trips to do his upmost to improve the material and spiritual situation of his Jewish brethren, particularly of Russian Jews.
His first trip was to Paris in winter 1883, approximately a year after the passing of his father Rebbe Maharash and his appointment as rebbe. Thereafter, he made several trips to other countries, at times staying for prolonged periods. His travels took him to France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, the Crimean Peninsula, and more. All this time, the Rashab corresponded with leaders and public figures, and wrote Chassidic essays. According to the enclosed letter, Rebbe Rashab purchased this woolen hat on one of his early visits to Paris and wore it during the cold winter months for many years.
As stated in the letter of authenticity, a short while after the passing of the Rebbe Rashab in Rostov, 2nd Nissan 1920, his wife Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah gave her eldest granddaughter, Rebbetzin Chana Gurary, this woolen hat.
In his book Reshimot Devarim (stories heard at the Tomchei Temimim Yeshiva in Lubavitch), R. Yehuda Chitrik describes various hats worn by the Rebbe Rashab on weekdays, Shabbat and while travelling. According to R. Chitrik, on Shabbat the rebbe would wear a "kalpak".
A photograph of Rebbe Rashab, only recently discovered (only one photo of the Rebbe was known beforehand), shows the Rebbe wearing a hat very similar to this one (inscription on the verso of the photo: "R. Shalom Duber Schneerson 1908 Moscow". Although the identification of the photographed was disputed, most experts confirm that it is indeed a photograph of Rebbe Rashab).
Approx. 19X31 cm. Good condition. Minor damage.