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It Pays To Consult With A Rav

Today you would be hard pressed to find a community that does not contain someone who has turned to the Rebbe for a blessing or guidance through the Igros Kodesh.

The tendency is to try to determine from the response the Rebbe’s general approval or disapproval of the issue in question, as opposed to examining the answer in its every detail. But sometimes after the fact it becomes apparent just how exacting the answer was. One example among many is the story told by Mrs. Rochel Hendel of Tzfas:

A certain Lubavitcher woman wasn’t feeling well for a long time, but she still managed to run her household and to take care of her five children, albeit with great difficulty. Eventually she decided to see a doctor, who determined that she needed a very complicated operation from which it would be difficult to recover.

The woman went from expert to expert to get more opinions, but they all recommended the same operation. Giving up on seeking an alternative, she resolved to have the operation, scheduling it with a renowned doctor in Yerushalayim. Just a day before the operation date she sat down and wrote a letter to the Rebbe asking for a blessing for success in the operation.

She put her letter in volume 17 of the Igros Kodesh and opened the volume at random to page 309:

Peace and blessing ... in answer to your letter of the 13th of Menachem Av, wherein you describe your state of health and the doctors’ opinions. In such a situation one should follow the orders of doctors expert in the field ...

And in response to your writing about having to rest for a few months afterwards, that’s very surprising, because generally much less recovery time is needed than that ...  It pays to consult with a rav about this. The merit of your and your husband’s involvement in the education of Jewish children will certainly stand by you and your husband and children in what you need ... with a blessing for good news in all the above.

The contents of the letter led her to understand that she needed the operation, but contrary to the doctors’ opinion, she realized that her recovery would be much quicker than they thought. One thing still wasn’t clear though. What should she consult a rav about?

She decided to speak to Rabbi Metzger, who advised her to go to Dr. Goldberg. She cancelled her scheduled operation and went to Dr. Goldberg. He asked her to repeat certain scans, and to her surprise (or maybe it wasn’t that surprising) the doctor said that the operation did not need to be that complicated; a simpler operation would suffice.

Three hours after the operation she was on her way home!  


The Blessing In Learning Chitas

Yehoshua (Shuki) Levy gathered up his work tools. He had just finished installing a set of locks at a certain company located in the center of the country. He began thinking about the 15,000 shekel awaiting him for his work. But as soon as he walked into the office he felt that something was up. The secretary was most unfriendly and asked him to wait until the boss was available.

He certainly didn’t anticipate the reception he would receive from the boss. “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?! You pulled a fast one on us. We ordered one kind of lock and you put in something else! You won’t get a single cent! Remove all the locks you put up at once!”

Shuki tried to explain that he had no intentions of fooling anyone. He wasn’t able to get the type of lock they had asked for, and so he had purchased an equally good alternative. But all attempts at convincing the angry boss were in vain.

At some point, Shuki even tried to threaten a law suit, but that only made the man angrier. He somehow managed to get out and fulfill the verse, “hide a bit until the anger passes,” but he couldn’t foresee this ending peacefully.

“Why didn’t I tell them about the lock I bought instead — before beginning work? Now nobody will say I’m in the right,” he concluded sadly. What could he do?

He recalled the time he had lived in Canarsie, New York. His friend Rabbi Hertzel Borochov (who had made aliya and now lives in Rechovot) had told him that one can always rely on help from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. “But who can I turn to today?” he wondered.

As a last resort he decided to contact Rabbi Borochov anyway and ask his advice. Rabbi Borochov calmed him down and told him that the Rebbe is with us and that now more miracles than ever are taking place. He invited Shuki to his home to write a letter to the Rebbe. Shuki accepted the invitation.

At Rabbi Borochov’s place the two sat and farbrenged a bit before writing the letter. Rabbi Borochov told Shuki some “miracle stories” involving the Igros Kodesh, lifting Shuki’s spirits. Rabbi Borochov advised him to make some good resolutions in Torah, tefilla, and tzedaka in order to provide a “vessel” for the Rebbe’s blessing. After hearing some suggestions, Shuki resolved to learn Chitas and to give tzedaka from the 15,000 shekel he had yet to receive.

After writing a letter, which included the resolutions he had made, and after saying “Yechi,” he opened volume 13 of the Igros Kodesh at random to page 134-135, letter 4407:

Concerning what you wrote at the conclusion of your letter — about “what will be in the end” — your being doubtful is surprising, for we know that the psak din Above is that in every matter of Torah, fear of Heaven, and good character traits the hand of his adherents and those who walk in his footsteps (the footsteps of the Alter Rebbe) will come out on top.

Rabbi Borochov was very excited and told Shuki, “You decided to say Chitas which includes Tanya, written by the Alter Rebbe. You are one of his mekusharim (adherents), and as the Rebbe said, you’ll come out on top.”

Only a few days later Rabbi Borochov received a message from Shuki. He happily sang “Yechi” and told how he had suddenly received a letter from the boss of the company with a check for nearly the full amount owed!  


You Never Know

On the 16th of Teives, R’ Shneur Chevron and his wife made a bris. They invited Rabbi Zimroni Tzik, who had been the sandek, to speak. Rabbi Tzik described the chain of events that led to his being sandek, and spoke at length about the topic of Moshiach and Redemption as it related to the parasha and to the mitzva of mila.

A few minutes after he was finished speaking, the rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Segal, asked him to take the floor and say a few more words. Rabbi Tzik decided to talk about the Igros Kodesh, and he told the following story:

A few years ago I was invited to a radio talk show (Mike Hollar). While waiting my turn, I heard how a couple of tourists to India were describing its various idolatrous cults.

I was very uncomfortable, and wondered whether it was appropriate for me to quote the Rebbe, especially when I would have to protest about what I had heard. I had to make a decision instantly as to whether to leave or not. I had no time to write a proper letter, so I stood in a corner and wondered: was I permitted to stay or should I leave? I said “Yechi” and opened the volume of Igros Kodesh I had with me.

In the answer at the top of the page it said”

“It is permissible if there is some benefit for himself or for others, as explained in the saying of the Baal Shem Tov...

I didn’t need more than that. About whether there would be any benefit for myself, perhaps I could be the judge, but what about for others? I stayed. During the course of the program I was asked by Mr. Hollar how one connects with the Rebbe today. So I told him exactly what had just happened, how I had wanted to leave because of the talk of idol worship and how I was answered through the Igros Kodesh. Apparently there would be some benefit in what I was saying and so I stayed. Mike was astounded.

But that’s not all. In the days that followed, our office in Bat Yam received many requests for blessings and guidance, etc. Each request was accompanied by good resolutions. I could see how the Rebbe MH”M was continuing to “force all Israel ... and to strengthen its breaches.”

Rabbi Tzik concluded his story, everybody bentched and prepared for Maariv, and then a young bearded man approached Rabbi Tzik and asked, “Did the radio program you spoke about take place four years ago?”

Rabbi Tzik said it took place in Nissan, 5755, four years ago, to which the man replied, “Please allow me to thank you for the program. My name is Zohar Chamu and I was greatly affected by that program...

“For the first time I heard about writing and using the Igros Kodesh. Until then I was almost completely uninvolved in Torah and mitzvos. I worked as a financial advisor in my own office, but I was undecided as to whether to continue in that line.

“Then I heard you and decided to write to the Rebbe. I called information and they gave me the number of a Chabad house. The people there told me to contact the Chabad house in my area, in Migdal HaEmek.

“I went to the yeshiva and wrote the letter. The answer contained clear instructions to get involved in Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim, to say Tehillim, and then the letter dealt directly with my financial situation.

“I consulted with Rabbi Segal, who told me it was time to get more involved in Yiddishkeit. I began with shiurim in Chassidus at night, but I soon found myself sitting and learning full time. By the way, I recently returned from spending Tishrei in New York with the Rebbe.”



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