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Back to Life
by Mrs. R. B.

This was on a cold winter night last year on one of the settlements in Eretz Yisroel. The local shlucha (Chabad emissary) had publicized in advance that there would be a gathering on the 22nd day of Shvat, in honor of the yahrtzait of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and she had invited all the city’s women.

 The cold was intense, and the winds were howling outside that night. However, I knew that I simply had to ignore the elements and go to participate at the gathering in the Rebbetzin’s honor.

The main reason that had motivated me to come to the gathering was not a personal one. I have a good friend who teaches with me at the local school. She is a much-esteemed woman with a tremendous reputation due to her success in Jewish education. However, during that winter, her physical health, and subsequently her emotional health, had begun to weaken from the effects of anorexia nervosa. I would come and visit her almost every day with a special meal, exactly as she had requested. She would enthusiastically describe to me over the phone what she likes to eat. I would prepare it just as she described, but when I got to her house and served her the food, she would always find some excuse why she couldn’t eat it…

The state of my friend’s health was beginning to worsen, and it became clear that she needed to be hospitalized. For my part, I decided to go to the gathering and ask all those participating to bless her and to request a blessing from the Rebbe through Igros Kodesh, the Rebbe’s published letters, in the merit of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, for a complete recovery.

Despite the bitter cold, about 30 women came to the gathering. At the end of the event, we sat together and wrote a letter to the Rebbe, and the shlucha placed it in a volume of Igros Kodesh. When she read out the answer (Vol. 9, p. 258), the relevance was uncanny. The Rebbe simply analyzed her condition in great detail:

“…Thus, as in relation to the life of the body, if the person will speak day and night that he believes in the value of food, and he wants to accept it and eat it, yet he constantly doesn’t eat, his body derives no benefit from his talking – and he periodically becomes weak, to the point that he eventually will have no strength to speak about the benefit.”

The Rebbe proceeded to elucidate upon this point from a spiritual perspective: “In an actual sense, we also find in relation to the life of the soul: Even though he regularly speaks about how he wants to fulfill the mitzvos and about the value of the mitzvos etc., if he never actually does it, the soul doesn’t become stronger. Furthermore, since it lacks its whole purpose, it gets progressively weaker, as was stated above with regard to the body. Thus, there is no need to seek other reasons for a lack of success in his endeavors, for even the lack of mitzvah fulfillment is enough to explain the lack of success.”

Then, before closing the letter, the Rebbe wrote special instructions: “And if he will listen to my advice, they should immediately check all the mezuzos in their home that they should be properly kosher.”

The shlucha, may G-d bless her, understood the Rebbe’s words according to their literal interpretation. “The Rebbe says immediately. Let’s go right now to her house and take the mezuzos to be checked.”

We got sufficiently bundled up, and with the wind whipping all around us, we headed toward my friend’s house. We knocked on the door, but no one answered and not a sound could be heard from inside. The shlucha decided that if we had already come this far, we should at least take down the front door mezuza and have it checked. When the shlucha removed the mezuza case, we were stunned. There was no mezuza inside. The case was totally empty…

I decided right there that I would buy her the best mezuza available, and I asked the shlucha to make certain that it would be affixed to the front door of my friend’s home that same night.

The following morning, Friday, I went to work at the school, hoping and praying that everything would turn out all right for my friend. The fact that no had answered her door the previous night, despite our persistent knocking just three meters from her bedroom, worried me very much.

During one of the breaks, I suddenly received a phone call from her. She sounded much better than the last time we had spoken. It turned out that during the previous night, she felt that all her strength was draining out of her. “I was on the verge of dying; I was even too weak to pick up the phone and call for an ambulance,” she said. “I have no idea what happened last night, but this morning I got up with a renewed feeling of strength, energy, and a will to live.”

I smiled. I did have an idea of what happened. I explained about what we had experienced at the gathering: writing the Rebbe, the instructions in his reply, checking the mezuza, affixing a new mezuza. “My dear,” I told her, “you owe your life to the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. You should know that even today she can give a blessing. Furthermore, in the merit of our participation in the gathering in her memory, we merited to receive a tremendous blessing from the Rebbe! Now, just do me a favor: take care of your health.”

Today, thank G-d, this woman has been restored to life. She continues with her work in the field of education and teaching, as she successfully prepares students for their matriculation exams, with joy and in good health.

 

 


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