By Binyomin Weiss, COLlive.com
Shalom Ber Drizin, Lubavitch real-estate mogul who tends to be secretive about his private affairs, was ready to speak on Thursday about one specific topic.
This week COLlive.com reported the words the Lubavitcher Rebbe told Argentina’s richest Jew Eduardo Elstein in 1991, not to invest in the stock market. “It deprives one of peace of mind and of sleep; it certainly doesn’t strengthen your soul,” the Rebbe told him.
Upon hearing this, Drizin was ready to confirm rumors about his own attempts in the equity market. Seated in the Agudah Shul across from his house on Crown Street in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, he related:
“I once owned a bungalow in Skyview (in the New York Catskills), and around the summer time I bought some good stocks. One of them, U.S. Steel, was a solid one. My son Moshe was then before the age of Upshernish (the age of 3) and I had an ongoing shiur with the Viener Rav as we were near the Satmar camp.
“Soon after I purchased the stock I made a thousand dollars. I was very happy. This was 35 years ago and I earned $300 a week. I made a good living. But suddenly the stock dropped to $500.
“So I wrote to the Rebbe that I went on vacation, thinking that I can rest for a while. But instead of looking at the trees, I’m all stressful, buying the New York Times and checking where my stock is holding. And there are no phones then…
“The Rebbe answered me in Hebrew: ‘Sell all the stock as soon as possible and never buy stocks again.’
“He underlined twice the word ‘never.’
“Now, every few years since then, I used to check – maybe the Rebbe’s “never” is over. I would take a gamble and buy stocks worth $1000, but I always lose. Mendelovitz once convinced me to buy Global Crossing’s stocks. I invested $5000 and immediately it started falling.”