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A Time for Healing

Emanuel K. was a salesman of preschool equipment in northern Israel. Among his many clients was the Chabad kindergarten network in Safed, Israel. Every few months he would pay a visit to one of the Chabad preschools, laden with new and creative toys or educational tools.

On one of his visits, the preschool teacher noticed that Emanuel was not his usual cheerful self, and his face seemed clouded with worry. “Is everything okay, Emanuel?” she asked.

“Not so much.” Emanuel explained that his father-in-law had recently undergone a serious stroke and now lay in a hospital bed, unable to move his limbs. The only movement he was capable of was a slight curling of his big toe, and even that was with difficulty.

The concerned family turned to the best doctors, but none of them had encouraging news. The stroke he had undergone was very severe, and it did not seem that he would recover.

Rivka Waldman, one of the preschool teachers, suggested to Emanuel that he write a letter to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, requesting his blessing. “Certainly you've heard of the phenomenon of placing the letter at random into a volume of Igrot Kodesh, the Rebbe's published letters, and finding the Rebbe's answer on the page you open to.”

Emanuel was skeptical. It was not in his nature to believe in the supernatural. But he had nothing to lose, and agreed to the proposal. He wrote a letter describing his father-in-law's condition, and inserted it into a volume of Igrot Kodesh that was in the preschool.

The answer printed on the page he opened to was indeed addressed to a sick person. The Rebbe quoted the saying of the sages, “Shabbat is not for crying, and an immediate recovery will come.” Emanuel understood that the Rebbe had given his blessing, and a ray of hope entered his heart.

Just at that moment, without knowing what Emanuel had done, his sister-in-law entered a Chabad House in Ramat Gan. She had decided to strengthen her observance of Torah and mitzvot in honor of her father's recovery. The members of the Chabad House suggested that she write to the Rebbe via Igrot Kodesh to ask for his blessing.

When she opened the book to read the Rebbe's response, the phrase jumped out at her: “Shabbat is not for crying, and an immediate recovery will come.”

That Friday, Emanuel and his wife were in the hospital and met the sister from Ramat Gan, along with other family members. A conversation ensued, during which it became clear that both of them had read the identical letter of the Rebbe. They were all gripped with feelings of hope and trust in G-d.

It was early Shabbat morning in the hospital. At that early hour, there were no visitors in the hospital, and a sense of calm settled over the ward. The nurses made their rounds of the patients, noting any change in their condition.

Emanuel woke up as well. The family had taken shifts to stay with their father in the hospital, and it was Emanuel's turn to spend the night in the hospital, helping him with whatever he needed. He offered a silent prayer to G-d to restore his father-in-law to health. “Please, G-d, he still has many good, happy years left to live. Let him and us enjoy those years together.”

Suddenly Emanuel caught sight of a movement in his father-in-law's bed. He saw his eyes opening wide, as if his consciousness was returning. Emanuel raced out into the hall to call a nurse. When he came back his shock was doubled - his father-in-law was sitting up in bed, asking for a drink of water…

In Emanuel's mind flashed the words the Rebbe had quoted in his letter: “Shabbat is not for crying, and an immediate recovery will come.” This was it! The Rebbe's blessing had materialized, on Shabbat.

The doctor examined him and declared that his condition had improved dramatically, with no trace of his earlier paralysis. There was no logical explanation for his sudden recovery.

In the coming days his condition continued to improve rapidly. He was soon able to get out of bed and ambulate down the hospital corridors independently.

The story of the miracle spread quickly, and all the hospital staff looked at him as an open miracle. Doctors from other divisions came to examine him and bear witness to the miracle that had occurred.

Several days later he was released from the hospital, completely restored to health.



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