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The Blessed Garden

When Shlomo and Dina Solomon bought their dream home in Ramat Yishai, Israel, they had no idea what kind of legal battle they would have to wage to live in peace in the privacy of their own home. It began with a dispute with their neighbors. The Solomons' home, which they bought through an agent, was built on a hilltop, and several houses were built below. However, when the homes were built there was not yet a paved road that reached all the homes. Therefore, the neighbors would park their cars outside the Solomons' home, and then take a footpath through the Solomons' private backyard to reach their own homes. This was meant to be a temporary solution until the road would be built, and the Solomons were prepared to put up with it for the short term.

However, even after the road was carved, the neighbors refused to give up their habit of walking down through the Solomons' backyard. Shlomo and Dina watched as their carefully tended garden was torn up by their careless neighbors, not to mention their loss of privacy. The Solomons tried to resolve the issue peacefully, but the neighbors refused to honor the agreement.

The most absurd part was that the neighbors acted as if the Solomons were at fault, and brought a lawsuit against them in court! They argued that the Solomons were harassing them every time they passed through the garden, with no justification.

 This happened over 18 years ago. During this period, Dina traveled with her mother to the United States to visit a niece who lived in New Jersey. Shortly before that, Dina had experienced a miracle with her son in merit of the blessing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and she strongly desired to see the Rebbe face to face and receive his blessing. Now she had another motivation to see the Rebbe--she would ask for his blessing to resolve the annoying situation with her neighbors.

The Chabad rabbi of Ramat Yishai, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Wolosow, also happened to be in New York at the time. Dina approached him before going to see the Rebbe, and asked for his help in figuring out how to present her request to the Rebbe.

When her turn came, Dina felt a powerful emotion. The light shining from the Rebbe's face left her tongue-tied. At the last moment, before her turn with the Rebbe ended, Dina regained control of herself and asked for the Rebbe's blessing for success in the court case. The Rebbe gave Dina an additional dollar for success in the court cases.

Court cases? Why had the Rebbe used the plural term? They were facing only one court case, as far as Dina knew. Had she not made herself clear to the Rebbe?

Outside, Dina met Rabbi Wolosow again and asked her what he thought the Rebbe meant. Rabbi Wolosow did not know exactly, but he told her that the Rebbe's words are very precise, and surely he had a reason for using the plural term.

It later became clear what the Rebbe meant. The court case was held, and as expected, it ended with a decisive victory for the Solomons. However, the neighbors did not suffice with this but appealed the decision to a higher court. They also added other charges, and the matter dragged on and on.

During the final appeal, Dina had an unusual experience. The case was being heard in a courthouse in Natzeret Ilit. Shlomo traveled there to argue his case, and Dina remained at home. For some reason she felt ill at ease, and suddenly her eyes filled with tears. She was fed up from the interminable legal battle. She had never dreamed that her peaceful home life would be so disrupted by her intransigent neighbors.

From her heart, Dina prayed to G-d to help them get through this case in peace, and that this should mark the end of their aggravation. After she had calmed down somewhat, Dina opened a book of Tehillim, and opened it at random to read several chapters. She opened to chapter 102, and before her eyes saw the words, “He has turned to the prayer of the litigants, and He did not despise their prayer.”

This is it, she said to herself. I have a clear sign from heaven that my prayers have been accepted.

Later, her husband Shlomo called to tell her the news about the outcome of the case. Before he could speak, she said, “I have a good feeling, Shlomo.”

“You are right,” he said. “But one second. As far as I remember, your mood wasn't very cheery when I left home this morning.”

“You are correct,” she laughed, “But G-d sent me a good sign.”

Shlomo reported that the judge had thrown out all the neighbor's complaints, and had issued a ruling that their property rights were to be fully respected from then on.


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