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Golf Cart That Served Gadolei Hador To Be Auctioned

The golf cart that was used for years by Maran HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv ZT”L  to move around the Meah Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem, and was identified closely with the appearance of the late posek, will be put up for public sale.

After the petira of Rav Elyashiv, the vehicle was also used by Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L. The cart is scheduled to be placed on the auction block on Tuesday, 9 Iyar by Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem with an opening price of $5,000.

The cart was originally purchased by a close associate of Rav Elyashiv, later to be mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupoliansky, through his Yad Sarah organization, to assist the Posek Hador in moving from his home at 10 Chanan Street. In 2013, the elderly Rav Elyashiv underwent an emergency surgery, and in order to make his recovery easier for him, a Beis Medrash was built in a caravan near his home, where he used to daven and give shiurim. His home also underwent special accessibility adjustments by Yad Sarah’s accessibility and rehabilitation experts.

For many years until his death, it was a famous sight to see the special golf cart making its way in the early morning hours through the narrow alleys of Meah Shearim, with Rav Elyashiv, in his tallis and tefilin, on his way to shachris. During the day, he would travel in the cart between home and the Beis medrash as needed as well as often serving as a sandek at a bris.

The vehicle is the property of Yad Sarah, Israel’s largest volunteer organization, which has a national network for lending medical equipment, devices, accessories and technological solutions for patients with disabilities. Now that the vehicle was removed from regular circulation and is being offered for sale. Proceeds from the sale will be allocated to finance the organization’s activities.

In the auction house’s media release, it points out, “The fact that the cart was put on auction symbolizes a cultural change that the Lithuanian chareidi community is undergoing, which is characterized by the adoption of cultural customs usually identified with the chassidic community. Until recently, the Lithuanian community refrained from relating to objects and personal effects of high-ranking rabbis and attributing them special importance, a practice highly characteristic of the relationship to the Rebbes, the spiritual leaders, in the chassidic world. Now, the Lithuanian communities have begun to adopt the practices of the glorification and admiration of spiritual leaders of chassidic communities”.

Meron Eren, one of the owners of the Kedem auction house, notes that, “This is a historical item of exceptional sentimental value that has been given to us. The cart symbolizes the devotion of the great chareidi leader to continue to learn and teach Torah study, to his last day, at any price.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Kedem & Baruch Yaari)

3 Responses

  1. I’m not sure what to make of this regarding auctioning off antiques and possessions of passed Gedolim. It’s not a personal sefer Torah or set of Shas. This reminds me of the secular customs of buying Babe Ruth’s baseball bat, or Michael Jackson’s shoes, and so on…

  2. In the Catholic and Easter rites churches, these artifacts associated with a niftar pope or saint are usually exhibited in museums although in recent years, there has been the same tendency to auction them off to raise funds for their mosdos. I certainly wouldn’t bid because I don’t subscribe to the mystical belief that physical objects carry any special yichus or will bring a special yeshua that simply davening with kavanah and invoking the intercession of the niftar rav ot tzadik that owned or used the object might bring. However, its a democratic society and if they own something that someone lese wants, they are free to sell it but shouldn’t make any “magical claims”

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