He asked, ‘Rebbe, I am ready to be happy immediately, but how can I?’ The Rebbe said: Adar is a month of joy because of the ‘turnabout.’ Everything is turned over.
“I have good news and not such good news,” said the doctor, clearing his throat. “The good news is that it is not a malignant tumor and the patient is in no danger. The not such good news is that an operation is needed immediately, and since the tumor is on the kidney, the kidney will have to be removed.”
The Pizem family stood there stunned by the news. Although their father had not felt that well in recent weeks, they did not dream that it was something so serious. They took the results to another three department heads and other experts in Hadassah hospital in Yerushalayim. They all said the identical thing: You need to operate immediately and remove the kidney. If you don’t do the operation immediately, you could cause irreversible harm to the patient.
R’ Yosef Avrohom Pizem, a son, said, “When we heard the news, we were very down. We were extremely concerned about our father, but then, moments later, we recovered and said: There is a Rebbe. Let us write to him and ask for his bracha and with Hashem’s help, all will be well.
After making the necessary preparations, they wrote a letter to the Rebbe with quaking hearts, in the hopes that the Rebbe would bless him with a complete recovery and direct them as to the right thing to do.
The Rebbe’s answer was clear: Do not stop the work of the Chabad house because of the situation, be happy, check t’fillin and mezuzos, a bracha for health and a refua shleima and to do as the doctors said.
The residents of the community got involved in activities for the refua of R’ Pizem. Farbrengens with much unity and Ahavas Yisroel took place, there were children’s rallies, tz’daka was given, and more. And they all prayed and hoped for R’ Pizem’s recovery.
Before the operation, Mrs. Pizem asked the Rebbe for a bracha. The Rebbe’s answer was: Above nature – in nature. In other words, do things in the normal way but there will be miracles.
His children also wrote to the Rebbe and made good hachlatos. R’ Yosef Avrohom relates, “I wrote to the Rebbe that I was asking for a miracle, and I saw no problem in asking for a miracle since I had already seen many miracles that happened through the Rebbe with the Igros Kodesh. The Rebbe’s answer was astonishing. It said, ‘Nowadays, we don’t marvel when we see a miracle, since Holocaust survivors are among us and each of them is a walking miracle.’ At that moment, I realized that the Rebbe was preparing us for a miracle that was about to happen.
“In another letter that I wrote to the Rebbe, I said that there would be a farbrengen as a merit for a refua for my father that would take place on the Rambam’s hilula. I asked that in the merit of the Rambam, who was a doctor, a miracle would occur for us and my father would be healed without the need for an operation. The Rebbe’s answer was about the special quality of a yom hilula and then the letter said: May it be fulfilled in them ‘v’nahapoch hu’ [and there was a turnabout] in all their personal and general matters, materially and spiritually.
“I was suddenly reminded of a miracle story that I read that week about the Rebbe. It was about a man from France whose daughter was sick with a tumor. He asked the Rebbe for a bracha and the Rebbe said he needs to be happy. It was the month of Adar. He asked, ‘Rebbe, I am ready to be happy immediately, but how can I?’ The Rebbe said: Adar is a month of joy because of the ‘turnabout.’ Everything is turned over.
“Suddenly, the Rebbe raised his hands and held them on his right side and then he turned them over strongly to the left side while saying loudly in French, “Upside down, everything is turned over.” The man left the yechidus room very excited and immediately began carrying out what the Rebbe told him, to be happy. He was sure that everything would turn around and, in fact, the impossible occurred.
“This story that I recalled, along with the Rebbe’s answer of v’nahapoch hu, were a strong message for me: Everything will change and an operation won’t be necessary. I was sure of this. Then I wondered whether I should tell my parents. I asked the Rebbe and opened the Igros Kodesh and the answer was amazing. It said: Surely she diverted her mind from this since she is healthy. From this I understood that I should tell them so they would no longer worry.”
• • •
On the day of the operation, in light of the Rebbe’s answer, Mrs. Pizem insisted that the surgeon do another ultrasound test.
“Why do the tests need to be done over and over again? The results are clear and there is no medical reason for anything to have changed,” he protested. But she insisted.
“I wrote to the Rebbe and from his blessing we understand that a miracle will take place,” she said firmly without the slightest embarrassment. “So we won’t sign the consent form for the surgery to take place before another ultrasound is taken.”
The doctor saw that she was unyielding. He had nothing to lose and he finally agreed.
Their anticipation of a miracle was strong. Chapters of T’hillim were said with all their heart and the entire family waited to hear the results.
Meanwhile, in the ultrasound room, a drama was taking place. The team of doctors turned the picture this way and that and could not find any trace of a tumor! They took another sonogram with the same results. The tumor had disappeared! They had never seen anything like this! Where had the tumor gone?
The doctor went to the surgery preparation room where R’ Pizem was eagerly awaiting the results. “Does anything hurt you?” asked the doctor in some confusion.
“Um, no, nothing hurts me,” said R’ Pizem, not understanding what the doctor was getting at.
“Well, there is no reason for you to be here,” mumbled the doctor who found it hard to digest what he saw with his own eyes.
After consulting with the doctor who was the head of the department, they decided to release him. “You have nothing wrong with you. Goodbye and stay well!”
News of the medical miracle quickly spread throughout every hospital in Haifa. The Chabad community, which had made such efforts for R’ Pizem’s recovery were overjoyed at the good news. The Rebbe’s words were fulfilled in their entirety; everything turned around!