|Zeev Hatorah-Behar-Two Stories of Miraculous Healing|
|Written by Rabbi Shmuel Brazil|
Parshas Behar is full of the Yid’s obligation to believe fully in Hashem. To believe and trust in Hashem that He will sustain one for two years or more without any physical effort on one’s part is the lesson of Shemitta and Yovel. We must come in terms with the realization that it is not man’s physical acts and achievements that make the world run and function for his benefit but rather it is man’s spiritual accomplishments that produce a nurturing and sustaining environment. The Tochecha that is in parshas Bechukosai sends us the clear message that if we find our matzav unfortunately enveloped with suffering and sickness, disease and war, then we must realize that it stems from our spiritual shortcomings and not from our material failures. If we truly understand this foundation that spiritual deterioration is the cause of our malaise, then we have the ability to change the situation immediately for our better. If we lack such recognition, then …….
The first story involves Rav Mordechai of Lechovitch who was brought the news of a Yid who accidently received a painful break in his foot. Rav Mordechai instructed that the Yid should be brought to him and placed in a bed. Afterwards, the Rebbe was summoned and told the Yid that he should repeat after him word for word the second beracha of Shemoneh Esrai – ata gibbor leolam Hashem… someich noflim verofei cholim umatir asurim etc until the end of the beracha. After they both finished reciting the beracha, the Rebbe asked him if he truly believes what he just said that Hashem is a rofeh cholim? The Yid responded in the positive. The Rebbe then snapped back and screame that he was lying and once again The Rebbe restarted the process of asking the Yid to repeat the words after him. Once again when they finished the Rebbe asked him if he really believes in what he said and again the Yid said yes. Whereupon the Rebbe screamed out Liar! Now for the third time they repeated the same procedure and upon the Yid finishing the berachah even before the Rebbe had a chance to ask, he screamed out Yes Yes I truly believe! I truly believe. The Rebbe then asked him to step down from the bed and walk. It was an outright miracle that the Yid was able to walk as if there was never a broken leg. However, the Rebbe told him that he didn’t want to publicize this incident. He instructed him to return on the bed and act as if he was not immediately cured and only after he returns home he can then begin to act rehabilitated.
The second story is more recent and happened about 2 weeks ago. A man in Israel saw his late father in a dream. He had not been visited by his late father for many, many years and so it was very unusual. In the dream, his father came to warn him “You are being summoned in a few days to the beit din l’malla (court appearance in the heavenly court above). You need to testify as a witness against a man who is coming up for judgment. Years ago, when you were his student, he publicly embarrassed you in front of the class. You never forgave him for the humiliation. They are calling you to testify to this against the man when he comes up for judgment.”
The man asked his father in his dream if he would return to earth after this court appearance above. There was no answer. Very shaken by the dream, the man went to Rav Chaim Kanenievsky. Rav Chaim annulled the dream. However, the man couldn’t shake off the fear and couldn’t forget about it. He went back to the sage and told him that it still bothered him tremendously. The sage told him that in this case, he would need to assemble 3 people for a beis din (court ruling). They did that. The three men ruled that the man should search all over Isreal for his ex-teacher, hopefully find him still alive, and tell the teacher that he completely forgives him. So the man starts looking for his past teacher. He can’t find him anywhere in Jerusalem. Finally, he finds his address in B’nei Brak and goes to his door. Nobody answers. He knocks on the neighbors’ doors. A neighbor tells him that his past teacher is extremely ill, in the hospital in intensive care, and isn’t expected to survive much longer. He finds the hospital and goes there.
As he is walking towards the door of the teacher’s intensive care hospital room, a doctor (same doctor who told this story to his class) intercepts him and asks him if he is family. He says he is not family. The doctor says that in that case, he can’t see the patient, and he is not allowed to give him any detailed information. The man is desperate. He tells the frum doctor the story about his dream and the beit din decision. The doctor says, “Well, the man’s son is sitting there outside of his father’s room. Let’s ask him if he grants permission for you to talk to his father. His father is very, very weak.” They tell the story to the son, who decides that it is important and gives permission for the man to speak to his ex-teacher.
The man enters the room and sees his ex-teacher hooked up to tubes everywhere, on a respirator, and looking like he is not long for this world. But he is conscious. He sits down next to the bed and he introduces himself. “Many years ago, I was your student. One day, you embarrassed me in front of the class, and I have carried a grudge against you for that all these years. I never forgave you. I came to you to tell you that I now fully forgive you with all my heart.”
The sick man said, “Todah (thank you),” and the visitor left the sick man’s room. Within a few hours, the sick man showed much improvement. The vital signs were so good that they were able to start to take out some of the tubes and apparatus. In an another short while, he was sitting up and his energy was returning. Within a few days, he was discharged from the hospital and walked out well.
The man who had the dream and forgave his teacher went back to Rav Kaneievsky to tell him how his ex-teacher has recovered against all odds after he forgave him. The sage told him that in our generation, these open miracles are getting very rare, where it is so clear that the healing came from a spiritual source. And therefore the man has a responsibility to publicize the story. It will help many people to realize the power of the spiritual realm and the importance of forgiving. In this case, two lives were saved by the man being able to forgive his ex-teacher, the man’s life and the teacher’s life.
Here we have two similar stories about miraculous healing yet they differ very much from each other in their circumstances. One was asked to be publicized and the other was asked to be concealed. One person was healed through the instructions of the departed and the other by the instructions of the living. In one, the sick person was healed by himself with his deep emunah in Hashem while in the other the sick person was healed through someone else’s forgiveness. Think for a moment before reading further and ask yourself which story moves you more and why.
As for me, it is the second story that was asked to be publicized that really shook me. In the first story I can understand why Rav Mordechai the tzaddik did not want his name in anyway to be associated with the miracle lest he might come to haughtiness. Even though in that scenario it was the Yid who achieved the refuah through his own emunah, nevertheless it took a tzaddik to bring out that emunah to its fullest and purest form. Today it is not easy to find an available tzaddik who both I and him will be mutually agreeable to work hard in bringing out my purest emunah to create a miracle for a necessary refuah.
However, in the second story, it was a regular Yid like me and you that brought about the refuah to another and by doing so he also saved his own neshama. It was a regular Yid like you and me who realized that the person who was about to leave this world will be soon unavailable to tell him I am mocheil you after all these years. When that person will be no longer here, the next time one will reexamine that emotional loaded grudge without his presence in the world, one will then realize how unproductive it was to harbor that hurt for over fifty years or more, especially at every bar mitzvah, chasunah and simcha which one didn’t attend because of it. No one gained and benefited from the preservation of the pain, not you and not your damager. In fact maybe your damager realized he or she was at fault but was too proud or embarrassed at that very moment to apologize, but promised himself that at a later date he would take care of it. Then as you know, suddenly life became complicated and more time passed and it even increasingly difficult to say that I am really sorry for what transpired back then. Guess what, for all one knows, that incident might have been gnawing at his conscience to the point that he might have even included once in a while in his davening a plea to Hashem to somehow make a miracle that one day you and him would cross paths and he would finally have that opportunity to apologize and save face rather than coming to beg forgiveness from you. But now it’s too late to say I forgive you. What a waste!
However, what is even more scarier than losing the opportunity to forgive, to think that maybe the reason that he is no longer here in the world to ask for forgiveness from you is only because all this time you did not forgive him!
I appreciate very much that Rav Chaim made this Yid publicize his story for it demonstrates to me how “simple Jews” like ourselves can save lives even one’s own by overcoming one’s personal hurt and pain and being big enough to forgive. In the deeper sense of emunah, by rising above and forgiving, one is unquestionably fulfilling the will of Hashem. After all He does the same for us many times a day every day.Gut Shabbos Rav Brazil