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Sudden Turnaround

Shalom Chason stood in suspense outside the birthing room. Inside was his wife, about to give birth, and he anxiously anticipated hearing the thin cry that would herald the new life joining their family. The moment arrived: “Mazel Tov,” beamed the midwife. “Your wife just gave birth to a girl.”

Shalom Chason and his wife were the proud new parents of a baby girl. To their dismay, however, during the initial newborn exam the doctors discovered a congenital defect in the baby’s ureters draining the kidneys. Shaul and his wife hoped that they were dealing with a temporary condition. However, as the months passed, they realized that the problem was quite serious.

The baby’s birth defect caused repeated kidney infections, and she had to be hospitalized numerous times before the age of three. Anxiety and fright became regular residents in the Chason home, not to mention their agony over the pain the baby was suffering.

When the baby turned three, the doctors informed the Chasons that the baby needed surgery to repair the defect. After surgery, the baby’s life would return to normal, they hoped.

Shaul and his wife searched for a specialist in the field to confirm the doctors’ opinion. They found Professor Farkash of Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem, who was said to be one of the top experts in this type of surgery.

At their appointment with Dr. Farkash, he examined the baby and arranged for special care during her hospitalization. He advised that the baby be hospitalized under his care for several days of observation before the surgery.

The night before the scheduled surgery, Shaul was driving home from Jerusalem to Ashdod, leaving his wife to sleep over with their daughter in her hospital room. The next day, he planned to return to Jerusalem to attend the surgery. Shaul drove home tired and lost in thought. He fervently hoped that all would go well and his daughter would come home healthy and whole.

On the road passing Rechovot, Shaul recognized a familiar figure waiting outside the bus station. It was Rabbi Elazar Tuito, a Chabad chassid from Kiryat Malachi, with whom he had once had a close relationship. It was after 11 at night, and Shaul presumed that Rabbi Tuito would have to wait a while for a bus home. He stopped his car. “Shalom, Rabbi Tuito. Come, let me give you a ride home.”

Rabbi Tuito happily accepted the invitation and got into Shaul’s car. The meeting between the two was most auspicious and heart-warming. During the ride, Shaul told Rabbi Tuito about the surgery planned for his daughter the next morning. Rabbi Tuito, who knew that Shaul was a man of strong faith, asked him, “Have you approached any tzadik for his blessing?”

“No, we haven’t asked anyone,” replied Shaul. “I was so busy running around looking for the right doctor that I had no chance to do it.”

“You can still do it right now,” said Rabbi Tuito.

Shaul looked at him blankly. “We are now approaching the Chabad community of Kiryat Malachi,” explained Rabbi Tuito. “One of the chassidim there has a fax machine. You can write a letter to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and fax it directly to his office.”

This story took place during the 80s, when a fax machine was still considered an advanced piece of technology and few people had one in their homes. Rabbi Tuito explained to Shaul that one chassid, Rabbi Lipa Kurzweil, had purchased a fax machine for the explicit purpose of receiving letters and transcripts of the Rebbe’s talks, and to send people’s requests to the Rebbe.

It was after midnight when Shaul and Rabbi Tuito arrived in Rabbi Kurzweil’s house. Rabbi Kurzweil greeted them warmly despite the late hour, and instructed Shaul how to address his letter to the Rebbe.

As Shaul re-entered his car for the drive home to Ashdod, the scene felt surreal. According to his plans he should have already been in deep sleep. However, G-d had decided that he should make this detour to request a blessing of the Rebbe, and had sent a messenger, Rabbi Tuito, to the bus station at just the right time to make sure the letter would be sent.

The next day, Shaul overslept, and by the time he arrived back in the hospital it was past the time of the scheduled surgery. It bothered him that he had arrived too late to see his daughter before she went into the operating room. He approached his daughter’s room, and was surprised to see his wife. “What are you doing here? Why aren’t you at the operating room?”

“The doctors decided not to operate,” she answered. “I still don’t know why.”

Shaul paled. He was sure that some complication had arisen that was preventing the doctors from operating. At that moment, Professor Farkash entered the room. “Professor,” called Shaul, “What happened? Why aren’t they doing the surgery?”

“See for yourself!” The professor showed two X-rays to the bewildered parents. “I have never experienced such a miracle. You don’t need to be a doctor to see the difference between these two X-rays. In this one, your daughter’s ureters are occluded, and in this one they are perfectly clear. The problem has resolved itself - completely disappeared!”

Indeed, in one night, the Rebbe’s blessing had resolved a problem of over three years.



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