Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An Inspirational Story

The "Tefillin Stand" at the Kotel

I am not usually too excited by "miracle" stories as they are generally 4th or 5th hand and lack credibility. Over the last few days I heard this particular story from a few people but since reading it in Rabbi Mordechai Gutnick's own words it has made an impression. The story was told to him on Yom Kippur.

Here it is as related by Rabbi Gutnick:
A choshever balaboss named IB came up to me in the break between Musaf and Mincha today and said he needed to tell me something that recently happened to him in Eretz Yisrael when he went to his grand-daughter's wedding.

The morning of the wedding he went to the Kossel with members of the wedding party. While there he put on Tephillin at the Chabad table and got all those with him to do so as well. Later that evening at the wedding he suddenly felt unwell and when they gave him some water to drink he couldn't swallow it and then the glass dropped from his hand. His daughter (mother of the kallah) is a doctor and she immediately told him that he was having a stroke. They rushed him to hospital where he was indeed diagnosed with a stroke and by that time he was totally paralyzed on one side and was unable to talk. They gave him various medications and hooked him up to all sorts of machines. Eventually he fell asleep. While asleep he dreamt that a Rabbi came to see him. He recognized from the pictures that he had seen that it was the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe asked him if he had put on tephillin that day and he answered eagerly that he had put them on with the Rebbe's Chassidim at the kossel. The Rebbe asked him to show him - so he pulled up his sleeve and the marks from the straps were clearly there. The Rebbe's face lit up with a huge smile and he put his hand on the man's arm and said "Zeit gezunt" and then walked off. The balaboss woke up the next morning and to the astonishment of the doctors and his family he was able to move and talk without any problem whatsoever. The story happened two weeks ago and he was the picture of perfect health today in Shule. (I called over a number of our Lubavitcher yungerleit who daven in our Shule to verify the story directly from him in case anyone thought that the fast had caused me to hallucinate...).

There is no reason whatsoever for him to have made up a story like this and the look on his face when he told me the story and the tears in his eyes all added to the impression that this had been a very real experience for him...