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Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 19 Adar I 5784
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In Complete Health
by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles
About six years after our marriage, my wife Shulamis immigrated to Israel and settled in Safed. Four years later, we still hadn’t been blessed with children. In 5740 we were on a visit to New York and we were privileged to have a private audience (“yechidut”) with the Rebbe. Before going in we wrote a note to the Rebbe with a list of requests we wanted to make, a considerable portion of which dealt with our desire to increase the size of our family.

During the audience the Rebbe’s face shone, and he gave us an abundance of blessings. However, there was one topic that the Rebbe completely neglected to mention – our plea to have children. As we left the Rebbe’s office I chose to look at the glass as half full: I was extremely pleased by all the blessings we had received. However, my wife, who had been anticipating the main blessing, was distraught, and she regretted the fact that she hadn’t asked the Rebbe expressly for this blessing while in his presence.

Later, we recalled that there was one blessing that the Rebbe repeated three times during the meeting. On several issues the Rebbe had mentioned that “everything should be in complete health.” We knew that if the Rebbe chooses the unusual step of noting something three times, it isn’t for naught.

Six months later the Rebbe’s words became quite clear. The audience had taken place during the month of Tishrei. A few days before Pesach, on the tenth of Nissan, we were driving from Netanya to Safed. Shortly after passing Karmiel, I lost control of the car, which flipped over several times before eventually landing along the side of the highway. Those brief moments were terribly frightening. As we lay there in the upturned car, we were certain that our time in this world had come to an end.

The car was completely totaled. I’ll never forget those terrifying moments. However, the power of life is stronger than all else, and after the initial shock wore off, we managed to get out of the overturned car unassisted. Incredibly, we had escaped this harrowing experience uninjured, without even a scratch. When we looked at the wrecked automobile and then at ourselves we immediately realized that we had been saved by a tremendous miracle. In a case of amazing Divine Providence, among the drivers in the chain of cars that had stopped due to the accident was the owner of the produce store in Safed’s Kiryat Chabad apartment complex. He drove us back to Safed, stunned by the extent of this incredible miracle.

Everyone who saw the condition of the car was flabbergasted by how we had emerged unscathed. Several hours later when we were back at home we remembered what the Rebbe told us in yechidut: “Everything should be in complete health.” Now all the pieces in the puzzle fit.

In the winter of 1982, my wife decided to fly alone to New York for a visit to the Rebbe. The private audiences with the Rebbe had stopped and people began meeting with the Rebbe in organized groups.

My wife went in as part of a group of English speakers. After the Rebbe gave them a general blessing, they each passed by him to receive a more personal blessing. Shulamis had gone in for yechidut hoping to receive one very important blessing. She gave several people the opportunity to pass her in line and she ended up being one of the last people privileged to go before the Rebbe. In a clear voice, she requested a blessing for children.

As she stood before the Rebbe’s penetrating look, she felt in her heart that if this is how the Rebbe shows his love, who knows how great G-d’s love is for the Jewish People. The Rebbe said “Amen” to her request, and she left the holy room filled with joy and happiness.

When she returned to Israel she told me about everything that had happened in the yechidut. We were confident that the Rebbe’s blessing would be fulfilled quickly – and so it was.

Our prayers were answered just a year and a half later, when we were blessed with the birth of our first son – Yehuda Shmuel, in the tenth year of our marriage.

Five years later, we had a very strong desire for another child. We sent the Rebbe numerous letters in request of a blessing for more children, but we received no reply. Then one day, to our great joy, we were informed that an addition to our family was imminent. Several months later, we were blessed with the birth of our second son – Yosef Yitzchak Eliyahu. This brings us to the most amazing part of the story: Shortly after the bris in Safed we received a letter from the Rebbe’s secretariat. They were writing to apologize because they had only recently found a letter that the Rebbe had written to us about nine months earlier on a certain date, however, they were only sending it to us now. That was the date our son was conceived…



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