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Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 28 Shevat 5780
 
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After 30 Years

I was married in 1981. After several years had passed without my wife conceiving, in 1984, we went to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for the first time to request his blessing for a child. The Rebbe blessed us with “good news” or “success and blessing,” but not with a direct blessing for a child. This repeated itself a number of times over the next few years--we would ask the Rebbe for a blessing for a child, and the Rebbe would respond with words of encouragement, but not a specific blessing for children.Chabad Rebbe, The Rebbe

In the meantime we visited doctors and underwent various treatments, but to no avail. In Cheshvan of 5750 (1989) we decided to go to the Rebbe again and ask him for an unequivocal blessing for children. At the time I was recovering from a serious injury I had suffered at the Raphael weapons factory, where I worked. There had been a huge explosion and I lost both my hands. I was still extremely weak and adjusting to life as a disabled person. However, I felt that this was as good a time as any to visit the Rebbe. “If not now, when?”

It was a Friday morning when I appeared at the entrance of 770 Eastern Parkway, the Rebbe's headquarters in Brooklyn. I was surprised to see that the synagogue, which I remembered as being constantly overflowing with people, was nearly empty. I asked and was told that the Rebbe was in the habit of staying in his house from Tuesday until Friday afternoon.

I headed towards the Rebbe's house on President Street and knocked on the door, but found the entrance barred by the members of the “Vaad Hamesader,” the team that maintained order in the Rebbe's synagogue. The house was already filled for the morning prayers and no one else was allowed in. I did not give up and banged on the door. The door was opened, and apparently, when they saw the hooks I have for hands, they took pity on me and allowed me in. I stood near the staircase where the Rebbe descended, and as the Rebbe came down he took me in with a glance and gave me a wave of encouragement and support.

I felt strongly comforted by being in the Rebbe's presence. I felt that the Rebbe understood my situation and had given me his blessing.

Sunday came, the day that the Rebbe would usually stand and distribute dollars for charity and blessings. I approached the Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Binyamin Klein, and told him that it would be difficult for me to stand in line due to my condition. Rabbi Klein promised to see to it that I would be at the head of the line. He told me that as soon as morning prayers were over, I should come and knock at the door of the secretariat's office, and he would ensure that I would be the first to pass the Rebbe.

My wife Phoebe and I appeared as instructed, and we were indeed the first on line. When we passed the Rebbe, I told him that we were married for 8 years and wanted a blessing for children. The Rebbe responded with is standard “blessings and success.” I don't know where I got the boldness, but I blurted out that I wanted a blessing for children. The Rebbe looked at us with his penetrating eyes, gave us an extra dollar and said, “These are for the children who will be born.” I left the Rebbe feeling more upbeat than I had in years. With such a clear blessing I had no doubt it would be fulfilled.

We returned to Israel full of faith that we would soon be parents. However, years passed and the Rebbe's blessing showed no signs of materializing. I had read many stories of blessings or instructions that the Rebbe had given people, which took many years to materialize. I strongly hoped that I would be in that category.

About a year ago I approached Rabbi Shmuel Frumer, a rabbi from Krayot, Israel with whom I had a close relationship. I poured out my heart to him, that it was nearly 20 years since I had received a blessing from the Rebbe, and it still had not come to fruition. Rabbi Frumer reassured me: “If the Rebbe blessed you, it will surely come to pass.”

Indeed, shortly after this conversation we discovered the astounding news that my wife was expecting. Our anxiety and distress was suddenly transformed to intense joy. On the 2nd of Cheshvan this year, October 21, 2009, my wife gave birth to our first child. Our joy was shared by chassidim from around the world. Seeing how they shared in our happiness made me realize the greatness of the miracle. I myself have not completely digested the fact that we are now parents. The Rebbe promised and the Rebbe fulfilled; that is the only explanation I have.

 

 


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