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Holiday Needs

Yehudah Hajaj did not consider himself part of the inner circle of Chabad adherents in the town of Mazkeret Batya in Israel. But his warm feelings for Judaism and respect for tradition were reason enough for Rabbi Aryeh Greenberg, the local Chabad emissary, to visit his home and extend a personal invitation to an upcoming Chabad event.

This was about 12 years ago. Yehudah gratefully accepted the invitation and attended the event. One speech that especially touched his heart was given by Rabbi Hertzel Boruchov of Rechovot. Rabbi Boruchov described to the attendees how he had become close to Judaism in merit of the Rebbe. He spoke about a current project of his, running the "Igrot Kodesh Center," which allowed people to write to the Rebbe and receive a response by randomly opening one of the 40 volumes of Igrot Kodesh, the Rebbe's published letters.

Yehudah was very impressed by the talk, and at the end, Yehudah approached the microphone and asked if he could say a few words. It was clear that he was undergoing a deeply emotional experience.

"I am not religious," Yehudah introduced himself simply, "but I wish to share with you my personal miracle story with the Rebbe.

"This happened about four years ago, several weeks after the Rebbe had suffered a stroke," Yehudah recalled. "At the time I was working as a truck driver, and I used to wake up very early in the morning. A few days before Pesach, I had a dream. I felt like I had woken up and could not fall back asleep. I sat on my bed, took out a cigarette and began to smoke. All in my dream. But it was extremely vivid, and I can remember the slightest details.

"Suddenly, the Rebbe appeared before my eyes. I knew the Rebbe only through various articles in newspapers and from the work of the Rebbe's emissaries. I had never met him in person. I remember that in my dream, I pinched myself to make sure that I was not dreaming...

The Rebbe did not give me much time to remain lost in thought. He turned to me directly and asked, ‘Do all the people around you have what they need for the upcoming holiday?’

"I was confused. After several long seconds, I answered that I had never looked into it.

"'Please check,’ the Rebbe instructed me. ‘Make sure there is no one around you left without their needs for the holiday.' He said this and then vanished.

"I woke up bathed in sweat. The vision had been so real, and I felt certain that the dream was meaningful. I wracked my brains and remembered that there was someone who lived nearby whose financial situation was not very stable at the time. By nature he was very shy and introverted, and found it difficult to share his troubles with others. Still, we were well aware of his difficult circumstances.

“I waited until a reasonable hour, drew my courage and went to his house. I knew that I had to overcome my own discomfort and offer him help. This was the directive I had received from above... With a hesitant hand I knocked on the door, and my friend's wife opened. Her eyes were red and puffy.

“In response to my question she told me that her husband was not home. Somehow I blurted out the purpose of my visit: 'Do you have everything you need for the holidays, or maybe I can help you?'

“The woman's response was completely unexpected. She burst into uncontrollable tears. My discomfort grew seven-fold. This was not a pleasant situation to be in. ‘What are you talking about?' she finally managed to choke out between sobs. 'Needs for the holiday? Yesterday the police came to arrest my husband because of his unpaid debts. I am left alone...'

“I had 500 shekel in my pocket, which I had just withdrawn from the bank the day before to buy our own holiday needs. I handed them to her.

“'This is not from me,' I mumbled. 'Someone sent me to give this to you.' I figured that she would be more comfortable taking from an anonymous donor than from me. In any case, it was not a falsehood. I had indeed been sent... The woman thanked me profusely, and asked me to give her thanks to the anonymous donor as well.

“I returned home all shaken up. My dream had not been meaningless after all. The Rebbe knew very well why he had come to me and said what he said.

“The next day, on the eve of Pesach, my friend was released from jail. I met him after I returned home from work. He waited for me to get down from my truck, and asked me to walk home with him. He wanted to show me the table in his house, set with all the holiday delicacies. 'This is all thanks to you,' he said with tears in his eyes.

"It was one of the happiest days of my life," confided Yehudah to the crowd. "The most wonderful feeling I had ever felt flooded my heart. An inner voice whispered to me that I had to let the couple know who had really sent me to help them. I told them about my dream, which caused their home to be filled with their holiday needs."

 

 


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