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6:46 PM in New Brunswick, NJ
Shabbat Ends 7:48 PM
Friday, 7 August 2020
Parashat 
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Chaim, the secretary of a Chabad yeshivah in Israel, entered his office one day and, as was his usual routine, he checked the messages and the first one was from a woman who said her name was Zahava. “Please call me back as soon as possible. This is urgent.”

Chaim returned her call and Zahava launched into her story. She was not calling for herself but on behalf of her friend, Sarah. Chaim realized that the woman wanted a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and tried to explain politely that this was not the right address. For a blessing, she would have to call the Rebbe’s office in New York.

But she pressed on. “I am looking for Chabad. You are Chabad, right?”

Chaim had to agree.

She went on to explain her request, a modest one in her estimation. “My friend Sarah is pregnant and due to give birth in six months. She already has two small children, and the thought of a third child is overwhelming to her, mainly because of her financial situation. She is very confused and seriously considering abortion, G-d forbid.”

Chaim continued to listen intently. “I tried to convince her to trust in G-d, that He sustains the entire world and He will surely help her, but to no avail. In a moment of truth she told me that if the Lubavitcher Rebbe would call her personally and give his blessing – then she would be convinced. I am sure that you can arrange such a call. Right?”

No, not right. “You see, the Rebbe is very busy and rarely speaks to people on the telephone,” Chaim explained.

Zahava was disappointed. “If so, what else can be done?” she asked.

Chaim explained to her that he could send a fax to the Rebbe to request the Rebbe’s blessing that her friend be persuaded by her words and believe that G-d will protect and sustain her. “It is very possible,” he added, “that the Rebbe will also bless her with an easy birth, and this will also help to calm your friend down.”

Zahava thought it over and realized that this may be her only chance. “Can you send such a fax for me?” she asked.

To this Chaim agreed happily. He quickly composed the fax and sent it to the Rebbe. To his surprise, he received an answer almost immediately. The content of the letter was quite unusual and puzzling. The Rebbe asked, “Is it true that people had tried to speak to the woman seriously and they were not successful?” The Rebbe added, “I will mention it at the Zion” (a reference to the resting place of his father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph I. Schneerson, the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe).

Chaim called Zahava and read the Rebbe’s answer to her. Her initial response was very defensive. “What does the Rebbe mean? Why is the Rebbe asking me if I spoke with her seriously? I myself spoke with her and tried to convince her and she refused to be swayed! Why is the Rebbe casting doubt on my words?”

There was silence on the other end of the line. Chaim did not know what he was expected to say. How should he continue the conversation? It was clear to him that the Rebbe’s words were precise. If the Rebbe was questioning her account then there was something to question. Should he explain to the woman that apparently she had not spoken to her friend with sufficient sincerity?

Zahava sighed deeply and then confessed. “I am not Zahava. I myself am Sarah, and I am struggling with an unwanted pregnancy. I don’t know how the Rebbe knew… but he is right. Nobody spoke seriously with me about the situation.”

Chaim was struck dumb. “The Rebbe is a prophet!” said Sarah, her voice breaking.

It took Sarah several long moments to compose herself. “Please, write to the Rebbe again and inform him that I will commit to strengthening my faith in G-d and continue the pregnancy. Once again I ask for his blessing.”
Still reeling from the Rebbe’s clear prophetic vision, Chaim sent another fax to the Rebbe. The Rebbe’s response was not long in coming. The Rebbe quoted the words of our sages, “One who saves a single Jewish soul is as if he saved an entire world.” The Rebbe requested that he relay to the woman that with her resolution she is saving an entire world. G-d has given her a great merit and will send her health and joy.
 

 


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