A little known story spanning several decades reveals the hidden connection between Brazil’s new president and Israel’s prime minister. And how together, the two leaders may be designated to usher in the Messiah.
The following story was told to Breaking Israel News by Rafael Rabinovich, a member of the Chabad Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism who lives in Brooklyn. Rabinovich heard this story directly from the shaliach (emissary) who made the connection between the Chabad Rebbe and Jair Bolsonaro, the newly inaugurated Brazilian President.
This story concerns Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic movement, who passed away in 1994. Rabbi Schneerson, known to his followers simply as ‘the Rebbe,’ headed a global outreach program that is still active today. But his followers valued his spiritual guidance which sometimes bordered on the prescient.
Approximately 36 years ago, a young man who was a member of the Chabad sect went to visit the Rebbe at his headquarters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. One of the Rebbe’s methods for connecting with people was to give them a dollar accompanied by a blessing. The intention was that the person would give charity and retain the actual dollar bill as a keepsake from the Rebbe.
This particular young man waited on line and when it was his turn the Rebbe asked a few questions about him. The young man mentioned that he was on his way back home to Brazil. The Rebbe gave him a dollar along with a blessing and then asked him to wait for a moment. The Rebbe got a second dollar bill from his secretary and handed it to the young man.
“This is for Brazil,” said the Rebbe. The young man took the dollar and clipped a note to the bill with the message, “The Rebbe said this is for Brazil.”
Upon his arrival, he gave money to charity and stored away the dollar bill from the Rebbe with the note attached. Oddly enough, though he carried the first dollar bill with him at all times, he forgot about the bill with the note attached.
Years passed and the young man was ordained as a rabbi and got married. Though the Rebbe had passed away in the interim, the outreach institutions he established were still vibrant and active. The Young man became a Chabad emissary in Sao Paulo. As part of his duties and to fulfill the mitzvah (torah commandment) of visiting the ill, he made regular visits to the patients at Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo.
In the year 2018, Brazil was in the midst of a hotly-contested presidential election. Among the candidates was conservative Jair Bolsonaro, a Brazilian politician known as the “Trump of Brazil”. A Roman Catholic, he ran under the campaign slogan “Brazil above everything and God above everyone.” Bolsonaro was stridently anti-leftist, anti-socialist, and anti-liberal. Like his North American counterpart, Bolsonaro was a strong supporter of Israel and the Jews. He appeared in public holding an Israeli flag and stated that, if elected, his government he would move Brazil’s Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, which he openly referred to as “the capital of Israel.”
In September, a member of the left-wing disguised himself as a supporter and attended a rally in Sao Paulo for Bolsonaro. He succeeded in getting close to the candidate stabbed him in the stomach. Bolsonaro was bleeding profusely and the wound, inflicted by a 5-inch knife, was life-threatening.
When Bolsonaro boarded the ambulance, he was barely conscious but he demanded to be transported to Albert Einstein Hospital. The paramedics preferred to take him to a hospital that was closer, the Hospital Sírio Libanês (Syria-Lebanese hospital), a privately owned Arab hospital commonly chosen by the country’s most senior politicians. But the wounded Bolsonaro insisted the ambulance take him to Albert Einstein Hospital, believing that a Jewish hospital was the only place he would be safe. He did not want to risk another attack.
It was later revealed that the attacker was affiliated with Brazil’s far-left political party that had an openly anti-Israel platform.
Bolsonaro lost a lot of blood and the wound was very deep. Initially, the doctors told the Bolsonaro children that their father was not likely to recover and for several days, his life hung in the balance.
A few days after Bolsonaro was admitted to the hospital, the Chabad emissary was preparing for his regular visit to the hospital. By chance, he came across the dollar bill with the note attached. Thirty-six years had passed since he received it from the hands of the Rebbe. He tucked the bill in his pocket and went to the hospital. When he arrived, he was surprised at the numerous security guards patrolling the halls. When he was informed of the reason for the heightened security, he understood that this had been the intention of the Rebbe so many years ago; that the dollar bill make its way into the hands of the man who was to be the president of Brazil. Thus, the dollar bill would be for all of Brazil and not just for one person.
As one of the rabbis affiliated with the hospital, he was able to get security clearance and visit the presidential candidate. For the first time since the attack, Bolsonaro was alert and sitting up. He was weak but insisted on making a video thanking the doctors and hospital personnel for helping him through this. He received the visiting rabbi and accepted the dollar from the Rebbe.
Shortly thereafter the patient took a definite turn for the better. He was out of danger and on his way to recovery. The doctors informed Bolsonaro’s family that he was recovering even faster than expected. He was going to be able to return to his political activities. And so he did.
While recuperating at home, Bolsonaro won the first round of elections. In the second round, he won a landslide victory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended Bolsonaro’s inauguration.
Rabinovich, originally from Chile, told Breaking Israel News that Bolsonaro’s first name, Jair, is from the Hebrew name ‘Yair’, meaning “the one who brings light.”
The two heads of state got along famously, as well they should since they have a powerful hidden connection. Netanyahu first visited the Rebb in 1984 when he was the newly appointed Israeli Ambassador to the UN. Before Netanyahu returned to Israel in 1988 to join Likud, he visited the Rebbe again. The Rebbe gave him advice which proved to be at least partly prophetic.
“You will fight with 119 people,” presaging the coalition troubles that are plaguing the prime minister to this day.
Later, the Rebbe confided in Rabbi David Nachshon, a close friend of then-Prime Minister Netanyahu.
“It really pains me, as a friend, as a brother, as a close friend, to see how people constantly spill Netanyahu’s blood,” Rabbi Schneerson told Nachshon. “But I have a surprise for you, he’s going to come out of it, and he’ll stand tall, on G-d’s side. He has a promise from the Rebbe, and he’s going to make it through this. We’ve seen it happen up to now, and that’s how it’s going to be now as well. He will make it through this, and he will continue, and I hope he’ll be able to hand his keys over to Moshiach (the Messiah), and we’ll have the complete and true Redemption.”