Deiah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

A Window into the Charedi World | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Opinion & Comment
Words of Emunah by Chaim Walder

About a month ago, at six o'clock p.m., Meir B., an eleven- year-old boy, finished his studies at the Erloi Cheder in Bnei Brak and began walking home.

At home a book was waiting for him, which was bought as a prize for good behavior. But Meir did not arrive home that day and also did not read the book. A car hit him at a crosswalk with tremendous force.

A Hatzolah car arrived at the scene, and a quick glance told the whole story. Blood flowed from the boy's ears, indicating brain damage. The intensity of the blood flow seemed to indicate severe injury.

The child was quickly taken to the hospital. His parents, who came immediately, were told that his chances of survival were minimal and in any case they could expect measurable brain damage.

The parents did what every other chareidi person would do. They quickly turned to gedolim and admorim, pleading that they bless their son and daven for him. At the same time they turned to their friends and acquaintances requesting that they say Tehillim for his recovery.

Twenty-four hours passed and the child was unconscious. He showed no signs of life. Comprehensive tests were taken and at one point one of the doctors came out and notified the father sadly that there was irreversible brain damage. In any case it seemed clear that the child would never return to his former state.

The poor father didn't know what to do with himself, when suddenly the mother arrived and said happily that she got a blessing and a promise from rabbonim and admorim that all the decrees were completely nullified and her son would be healthy and complete.

The father was silent, and the doctor told the mother that it would be better for her not to be led on by illusions, and that she should get used to dealing with a child who is irreversibly brain damaged.

The mother turned her back on that doctor and said, "I don't even want to hear what you have to say. I do not want you to take away my emunah. I have emunas chachomim and they told me that my son will be healthy. I am going to sit beside him until he gets up."

And she did just that. "The boy showed no sign of life," she related afterwards. "At first the respirator breathed for him. Afterwards he breathed on his own, but without relating to the environment at all."

According to the instructions of one of the rabbonim, the mother spoke to the child constantly, as though he could hear her. "Do you hear Meir? You will recover. You must get up and return to cheder, and besides we bought you a book and you have to read it. In the meantime you may rest, but when you have the strength, get up, because there is a lot to talk about."

In this manner the mother spoke nonstop. She also said many chapters of Tehillim and, most importantly, guarded herself to be sure that no doubts entered her mind to shake her belief in her son's complete recovery. The whole time she said to herself, "The Rebbe said that he will be healthy. As long as he doesn't say anything different, I am waiting."

Two full days passed. Friday night arrived, and the parents conducted their Shabbos table at Meir's bedside. This was the saddest Shabbos meal they had ever experienced. The other children were home alone and the parents were in the hospital in the intensive care unit with a child who was in critical condition and his chances of returning to his former health were minimal. But the mother repeated again and again the blessings of the rabbonim and her complete faith that her child would recover completely.

Night fell, the husband returned by foot to Bnei Brak and the mother remained near her son's bed.

At two o'clock in the morning, as she was reciting Tehillim, the boy suddenly woke up, opened his eyes, stretched a bit and said to his mother, "Mommy, give me my glasses."

A moment of shock.

"Wha. . . What do you need your glasses for?" asked the mother.

"Because I have to read the book that you bought me as a prize," replied the boy. The mother understood immediately that her son's reply completely shattered the many doubts concerning the degree that his brain and his memory will function. She finds it hard to hold back her tears.

Five days later the boy was home, and two weeks ago, on Wednesday, he went on his own to the Erloi Cheder where he learns.

* * *

That Thursday I went to perform the mitzva of bikur cholim and I discovered that there were no "cholim" to visit. The boy was completely healthy without any signs of damage, even outwardly, but nevertheless I had not come for nothing. In the course of the visit I wrote down the words of emunah expressed by Meir's mother. This time they were spoken joyfully.

"Our son experienced one miracle after another. We saw Divine Providence with our own eyes. But now I realize that miracles happen to all of us all the time. It's just that everyone considers them to be something natural and not miraculous. After I saw my son -- who is normally lively and energetic -- lying unmoving and lifeless, I understood how much we have to be grateful to Hashem who gives us the opportunity to open our eyes in the morning, to breathe, to think, to speak, to walk, to sit, and to remember. All these things that are so obvious to us, are really miracles.

"The woman who held him until the Hatzolah came told me that whoever was there was sure that those were the last moments of the child, based on the force of the blow and the blood streaming from his ears. A policeman came to my home to take testimony. He related that when he came to the place of the accident later, according to what he saw -- and he's seen plenty of accidents in his life -- he didn't give Meir even a one percent chance of survival.

"But I had emunah, and the blessing of the rav who said "`Kavei el Hashem' -- if we will have a direct line to Heaven without depending on others -- then `chazak veya'ameitz libecho' -- your heart will be strengthened." At the time, when I told this to my husband, the doctor tried to pull me away from that crucial connection. During those difficult moments it was not hard to do that. That is the reason I went away and didn't want to hear her. I turned my back and said, `You learned medicine, and I am learning emunah and bitochon. '

"From that moment on I knew that if I wanted my son to recover I had to do all the hishtadlus possible and to keep a direct connection to Hashem.

"I had another promise: `What should a person do to protect himself from the pains of the times of Moshiach? He should busy himself with acts of kindness.' For twenty years I have been volunteering at hospitals. I prayed to Hashem that in the merit of my good deeds He should cure my son.

"Boruch Hashem he returned home and I see with my own eyes how he is recovering more and more. Nes after nes after nes. At the beginning of the week I took him to have a Cat scan. Afterwards I took the pictures out of the bag and I saw that the doctor had written: `A clean brain, with no signs of bleeding or injury.'

"Now it's a month since the accident. My child goes to cheder, thinks, speaks and even outwardly there is no sign that anything ever happened. Despite my difficulty with this story being in the newspaper I think that one must publicize the miracle out of gratitude to HaKodosh Boruch Hu and as a lesson to people; so that they should realize that every single day HaKodosh Boruch Hu continuously performs nissim for them and for their children."

* * *

At the end of my visit, the boy (Meir, "ba'al hanes") shows me the Cat scan of his brain and suddenly he says, "Hey, Mommy, look, you can see my payos very faintly in the picture . . ."

"Ve'al nisecha shebechol yom imonu."

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