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Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 19 Adar I 5784
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Gift of a Child

Rachel Kulevsky was born in Jerusalem, to secular Jewish parents. In the 1970's, after her parents divorced, Rachel was sent to a boarding school located in the neighborhood of Meah Shearim, one of the strictest ultra-Orthodox enclaves in Jerusalem. There Rachel was exposed to an entirely new lifestyle.

However, as she grew older Rachel found that the strict Orthodox lifestyle was not for her. After graduating high school Rachel joined the army and abandoned religious observance. However, the years she had spent in that ultra-Orthodox institution left an impression on her; she retained a strong faith in G-d and in the power of tzaddikim.

After completing her army service, Rachel married and settled in Kiryat Atta, where her husband Eli was from. Within a short time her oldest daughter was born.

Not long after the birth, Rachel began to experience severe abdominal pain. She underwent testing and was diagnosed with a large cyst in her abdomen. Surgery was performed to remove the cyst, and her pains went away. However, as an outcome of the surgery, Rachel was told that she would no longer be able to bear children.

Rachel and Eli visited a number of doctors, hoping that one of them could offer a procedure or treatment that would allow her to bear more children. The doctors they saw were all pessimistic. “Be happy with the daughter you have,” they were told.

During this time, Rachel shared information about her frustrating medical condition with a friend. The friend advised Rachel to write to the Lubavitcher Rebbe to ask for his blessing. Rachel had heard a great deal while growing up about the power of the Rebbe and his blessings, but it had never occurred to her  that the Rebbe could help her.

That evening, Rachel and her friend went to see Rebbetzin Rochel Diskin, the Rebbe's emissary in their town of Kiryat Atta. Rebbetzin Diskin greeted them warmly and listened to Rachel's story. “I am already 36,” said Rachel. “It would take a miracle for me to conceive another child.”

Rebbetzin Diskin guided Rachel in writing her letter to the Rebbe, and assured her that the letter would be mailed to the Rebbe's office in Brooklyn. Rachel left the Diskin home filled with hope. She called Eli and they decided that they would pursue one more medical treatment. “I have a feeling that this time it will work. The Rebbe is with us!” she told her husband.

A few days later they received a reply from the Rebbe, which consisted of two short words: “Blessings and success.” Yet within a short time this brief blessing materialized. The last medical treatment that Rachel underwent was successful, and she conceived a child.

A few months passed, and Rachel was in her seventh month of pregnancy. One night, she had a dream that she found a letter from the United States addressed to her. In her dream, she asked Eli who from the United States could possibly be sending her a letter. They had no relatives or friends there.

But her dream came true a few weeks later. Rachel received a letter from none other than the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe wrote: “In response to the news of her condition, G-d should complete the days of her pregnancy and she should give birth to a healthy and viable child in the right time, easily and in good health. The letter she sent will be read in an auspicious time at the gravesite of my father-in-law [the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe].”

A month later the Kulevsky family received more encouragement from the Rebbe. The Rebbe's personal secretary called and said that the Rebbe had again blessed her with an easy birth. The secretary suggested to Rachel that she bring the letter of the Rebbe with her to the delivery room.

Twenty-four hours after that telephone conversation, Rachel went into labor. It was long and protracted, but Rachel remained calm, trusting in the Rebbe's blessing.

Talya, the daughter who was born from that pregnancy, is now 20 years old. She understands well in whose merit she was born, and is proud of the fact.


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