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Sunday, October 1, 2023 - 16 Tishrei 5784
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Moving Into Place
The pediatric waiting room of Asaf Harofeh Hospital was packed wall-to-wall with bawling children and concerned parents, all waiting impatiently for their turn. The nurses tried to go from child to child, soothing and calming, to make the long wait less frustrating.

Among the patients was little Esther, age one, held in the arms of her mother, Sofia. Her flushed cheeks bore evidence of her high fever. Finally her turn arrived. The doctor listened to her lungs and peered into her throat and ears. Everything looked fine.

The doctor sent Esther for more extensive tests, and finally discovered the problem: Esther’s kidneys were improperly positioned in her abdomen. “Esther has a severe kidney infection,” the doctor informed her mother. “We will treat it with powerful antibiotics. But in the near future I recommend that she undergo surgery to repair the kidneys and put them in their proper place so this problem does not recur.”

After a few days of IV antibiotics, Esther’s fever went down, but shortly thereafter it spiked again. The doctor tired a different antibiotic but the same thing happened again: the fever would go down, only to go up again a short while later.

One day Sofia met a Chabad volunteer who was visiting patients in the hospital. The woman informed Sofia that a mezuzah at the door of the house protects the occupants from all harm.

Sofia’s home had mezuzot at the entrance and all doorways. The Chabad volunteer suggested that she send them to be inspected. “Even a kosher mezuzah can degrade with time and need repairs.”

Sofia and her husband sent the mezuzot to be checked. They were shocked to discover that the mezuzah on their front door was completely unkosher. With the help of the Chabad volunteer they were able to obtain a new mezuzah and affixed it that day.

 “I hope that now Esther will recover fully,” the woman encouraged them, and then added, “Why not write to the Lubavitcher Rebbe and request his blessing? Even today we can receive blessings from the Rebbe by opening a volume of his published letters.” The woman explained that the Rebbe’s voluminous correspondence over 40 years of leadership had been compiled into a set of Igrot Kodesh, and people seeking the Rebbe’s advice and blessing need merely to open a volume at random and read the letter on the page. Very often the letter had an uncanny relevance to the person’s situation.

Sofia agreed. With the help of the Chabad volunteer, she wrote a letter asking for a speedy recovery for Esther. The woman brought her a volume of Igrot Kodesh and Sofia placed her letter inside. The Rebbe’s answer contained a blessing for good news.

Several hours passed and suddenly Sofia was called into a meeting with the medical staff. Just then they had held a conference on Esther’s case and wanted to let Sofia know the results. “We will attempt another class of antibiotics,” one of the doctors told Sofia. “We will see how it affects her and take it from there.”

 Sofia did not expect much change, as they had already tried many antibiotics on Esther which did not work. But this antibiotic, chosen after she received the Rebbe’s blessing, did its work. Esther’s condition stabilized, to the great relief of her parents and all the doctors. After seeing that all was well, the parents turned to the Rebbe again for advice on a different matter. In the answer, the Rebbe gave a blessing for a speedy recovery.

Esther indeed needed a speedy recovery, as she still had serious surgery ahead of her. With the advice of known medical consultant Rabbi Elimelech Firer, they turned to an expert at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital and scheduled a date for surgery.

When the day arrived, Esther underwent final pre-surgical testing and x-rays. The doctor examined the x-rays and compared them to the originals. A frown appeared on his face. “The previous x-rays are not hers! Please contact Assaf Harofeh Hospital and demand that they check carefully and send the right x-rays this time.”

The medical records department of Assaf Harofeh Hospital insisted that they had sent the correct x-rays, but the doctor in Shaarei Tzedek could not accept this. “This is not correct. These cannot be the same kidneys…”

In the next few minutes the doctor came to a different conclusion. “A miracle has happened! There is no need for surgery or for any treatment whatsoever. The kidneys have repositioned themselves, with no medical intervention.”


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