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To Save His Friend

Amir Halevi grew up in Azur, Israel, and excelled in school and in the army. He was an occasional visitor to the Chabad House in Azur, led by Rabbi Shimon Yardeni. Then he went off to Milan, Italy, where he met the Rebbe’s emissary, Rabbi Tzemach Mizrachi.

In Milan he slowly but surely furthered his connection with the Rebbe and Chassidus, and was an active member of the Chabad community. Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik, Chief Chabad rabbi in Milan, discovered Amir’s talents and “adopted” him as a student, friend and helper.

When asked what attracted him to Chabad, Amir says, “When I was in Azur I once learned the first chapter of Tanya with Rabbi Yardeni. I was so excited by it that as soon as I met Rabbi Mizrachi in Milan, I went over to him and continued learning where I had left off in Israel.”

About a year later, Amir returned from Italy, got married and settled in Afula, where he was mentored by Rabbi Dovid Kratz. Still, he kept in touch with Rabbi Yardeni and with the Chabad house in Azur.

One day, about three years after returning to Eretz Yisroel, he suddenly remembered his good friend Dedi Levi. Dedi had worked in Milan when Amir was there, and they had attended lectures and all the Chabad house activities together. Since he returned to Israel, however, they hardly ever met or spoke on the phone. He decided it was time to reconnect.

Amir called Dedi and asked how he was. Dedi told him that a few weeks earlier he had also gotten married and he lived in Tel Aviv and all was well, but Amir sensed that things were not as fine as his friend was making it sound. Indeed, Dedi eventually confided that his wife was sick with cancer; she had to have a complicated operation and chemotherapy to eliminate the malignant tumor in her throat.

As soon as Amir heard this, he said he would be coming to Dedi’s house, “because we need to find a way to save your wife.”

Amir came to their apartment, where he heard the whole story. About a month before the wedding, Dedi’s wife discovered a mass in her throat. She went to a doctor, who said it must be removed immediately. The operation was postponed to the week following the wedding.

The fact that her uncle was also sick with cancer added to their dread. The couple tried to spend as much time as they could with him, but sadly, he died a few days after the wedding. Now it was Dedi’s wife’s turn to deal with this terrible illness. A week after the wedding she underwent an operation to see what kind of tumor it was. Ten days later they were told that it was malignant and required further surgery as well as chemotherapy.

The procedure was scheduled for the following Monday. As it was then before Pesach, Amir brought three matzos along with him and said that the Rebbe wrote that matzos are called “food of healing.” He also suggested that they write to the Rebbe and ask for a blessing.

Dedi and his wife wrote to the Rebbe and did a marathon of prayers, good deeds and Torah study sessions.

 “We strongly felt the spiritual encouragement of all the Lubavitchers who didn’t stop praying for us, calling, encouraging and blessing us,” relates Dedi’s wife. “As the date of the operation got closer, we saw clear signs that a miracle was about to happen. The first sign was in the letter we opened to in the Igrot Kodesh. There was a line there that spoke about a miracle of rescue on Monday and a blessing for health.

“The day before the operation, Rabbi Nir called us again and told us that just that day he found a dollar from the Rebbe for us. Rabbi Nir explained that a woman who owned a store in Tel Aviv, who used to live in the United States, once went to the Rebbe to ask for a blessing to get married.

“To her surprise, the Rebbe blessed her with health. By Divine Providence, today, a day before the operation, the woman opened a new store and while setting up the store she found that dollar. When Rabbi Nir went to put a mezuzah up in the store, she told him about the dollar she had found, and agreed to give it to me as a blessing for a successful surgery.

“On Sunday my husband and I went to get the dollar from her. She even showed us the picture of her receiving the dollar from the Rebbe personally.

“On our way back home from the woman’s house we were so excited. I remember feeling that all the tzaddikim were accompanying us and enveloping us in a protective hug, and with Hashem’s help we would be done with this awful disease.”

Dedi recalled that when they returned home from the rabbi’s house in the south of Tel Aviv with the dollar, his wife was literally crying in great emotion. Of course, they took the Rebbe’s dollar into the operating room.

The operation was successful and the doctor instructed Dedi and his wife to come in a week to arrange dates for a series of chemotherapy treatments.

A week later the doctor censured Dedi for not asking what they had seen in the test done after the operation. Dedi apologized drily, “What is the point in asking when we are anticipating a year’s worth of chemotherapy?”

“What are you talking about? You don’t need any treatments!” the doctor exclaimed. “The test shows that your wife is perfectly fine and there is no need for further treatment. I consider this a miracle.”


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