The following description was prepared by William Gross:
Among some Hassidic courts, it was a practice for the Rabbi to give a blessed silver coin to his Hassidim as an amulet. Such protection might be given for all manner of life events, from healing from an illness to success in travel and the amulet was carried on the body of the recipient. This custom was particularly popular among the Ryzhiner Hassidim and these coins were called "Shmirot". To such coins were attributed extraordinary power and value and they were treasured with great care and love.
After the specific event for which they had originally be given, such a coin or coins were used in the making of other objects, which maintained the special aura of the Rabbi. Such a coin would be melted in other silver with the amuletic valued being spread evenly to all the silver. Then a ritual object would be fashioned by a silversmith and the special nature of the item would be inscribed on it, indicating in one of several ways that this object had been made from "Shmirot". Such objects in the Gross Family Collection include Kiddish cups, a Havdalah tray, a Shabbat salt holder, a Chanukkah Menorah, a Torah crown, and a fork and spoon.
This object is a Kiddish cup fashioned from such silver. On this cup, the inscription indicating Shmirot is found in the words " Me-Shmirot Rav ha-Kadosh me-Sadigura" (From the shmirot of the Holy Rabbi from Sadigura). Such cups were used for blessing the wine so that each use renewed the power of protection granted by the Rabbi. The decoration on the cup, in addition to the scrolling vegetation, consists of the images of a rampant unicorn and lion on the two sides of the inscription. This is a motif found on other Shmirot cups, but these two images are of a particularly imaginative form. This cup was used for the blessing over wine on Shabbat and holidays. Because Sadigura was the seat of the Ruzhiner Hassidim and these Shmirot coins came from the Rabbi himself, this cup has a very special importance.
Sadigura (Sadigora) is a Hasidic dynasty named for the city of Sadhora (Sadigura in Yiddish), Bukovina, which belonged to Austria at the time. The dynasty began in 1850 with Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, a son of Rabbi Yisrael Friedman of Ruzhyn, and was based in Sadigura until 1914. During the interwar period, the dynasty was led by Rebbes in Vienna and Przemyśl, Poland, and on the eve of World War II was transplanted to Israel, where it thrives to this day.
Sadigura is one of the branches of the Ruzhiner dynasty, together with Bohush, Boyan, Chortkov, Husiatyn, and Shtefanesht.
As of 2013, Sadigura has several hundred members in Israel and Europe. Its members reside in Israel in Jerusalem, Ashdod, Modiin Ilit, Beitar Ilit, and Elad, and in Europe in London and Antwerp. The dynasty is centered on the current Sadigura Rebbe's beis medrash in Bnei Brak, Israel.
Ruzhin (or Rizhin) is the name of a Hasidic dynasty founded by Rabbi Yisroel Friedman (1796–1850) in the town of Ruzhyn, Ukraine, today an urban-type settlement in Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine.
Friedman was the first and only Ruzhiner Rebbe. However, his sons and grandsons founded their own dynasties which are collectively known as the "House of Ruzhin". These dynasties, which follow many of the traditions of the Ruzhiner Rebbe, are Bohush, Boyan, Chortkov, Husiatyn, Sadigura, and Shtefanesht. The dynasties of Vizhnitz and Vasloi are related to the Ruzhiner Rebbe through his daughters.
Inscription: Me-Shmirot Rav ha-Kadosh me-Sadigura