February 10, 2015
Nosson Avraham in #961, Miracle Story

RMatan Yehoshua Sadovnik experienced an incredible story of Divine Providence after his wooden house burned to the ground. He had been left with intense pains in his back as he struggled to move. Then, achanceglance at a letter from the Rebbe opened his eyes, leading him straight to miraculous and breathtaking results.

Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

If you live in the Holy City of Tzfas and the surrounding region, and if youre in need of alternative medical treatment and use Maccabi Health Services, youll undoubtedly meet up with RMatan Yehoshua Sadovnik. RMatan is an expert in Shiatsu and Chinese medicine and he has helped many people afflicted with various ailments who had given up on conventional methods

R’ Matan is a very fascinating individual. He grew up in a middle-class household in Hertzliya; his mother serves as a high-ranking official with the city government. Searching for another direction in his life, he got closer to Yiddishkait and moved into the Baal Shem Tov Forest near Miron. Three years ago, as he was building his woodland home, he began to feel excruciating pain in his back, to the point that he couldn’t stand on his feet. Only the Rebbe’s letter, which came his way in a case of incredible Divine Providence, stopped the pain.


As mentioned, this story took place about three years ago. Despite the time that has passed since then, R’ Matan admits that whenever he recalls the events of those days, chills go up his spine. “I built our house myself. I bought planks of wood, nails, and all the construction material I needed. I did everything with my own hands. Toward the end of the building process, I began to feel agonizing pain in my back. I naively thought that these pains would dissipate as quickly as they came, but unfortunately, I was quite mistaken. The backaches became more intense. I had never encountered such acute pain before. 

“I lay in bed at home for three days, unable to move a muscle. Every movement was accompanied by sharp pain. After three days, when I saw that there was no change, I decided to do something. I turned to a highly regarded and professionally trained healing expert who had taught me the art of Shiatsu medicine. After explaining the situation to him he proceeded to begin treatment. While he tried to the best of his ability to relieve my pain, regrettably, his efforts proved unsuccessful.

“The pain remained quite intense and I almost began to despair. I saw no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Naturally, it affected my overall mood, which became rather glum and despondent. After another couple of days with no change in my condition, I decided to make the supreme effort and travel to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, located not far from my home, and pour out my heart in prayer for personal salvation.

“As soon as I entered the courtyard I sat down on one of the seats. Walking into the sanctuary from the car was extremely difficult for me. The pain grew worse and I had to rest for a moment before going in to daven.

“At that same time, a young Chabad chassid passed by me and placed an open ‘D’var Malchus’ booklet on the table. Apparently, he wanted to come back later and start reading from the point where he had left it open. I looked at the ‘D’var Malchus,’ and then I instinctively took it and started to read. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“The text on the page opened before me – I later discovered that it was a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe – was a lengthy discussion on the vertebrae. The Rebbe noted that while the vertebrae are an important part of the human body, enabling a person to stand upright, they are not counted among the limbs. Similarly, we find regarding prayer: While it connects a Jew to his Creator, it is not considered one of the 613 mitzvos of the Torah. The Rebbe then added regarding the Shmoneh Esrei prayer, that the spine has eighteen vertebrae, from the rump bone to the collarbone. 

“I read all this with incredulous eyes. Here I am, right now, suffering from terrible back pains. I could see the incredible Divine Providence. Eager to find the answer to my nagging problem, I continued to read. 

“In the following letter the Rebbe mentioned the importance of checking one’s t’fillin. Suddenly, I had an idea: Now was the time to have my t’fillin checked, something that I had never done before. I hadn’t been able to daven for the past five days and I surely couldn’t stand up straight for Shmoneh Esrei. Maybe there’s some problem with my t’fillin?

“I didn’t waste any valuable time. Despite the physical pain and discomfort, I immediately made my way from the Rashbi’s tomb straight to the home of a very devout Torah scribe living in Tzfas. I asked him to open my t’fillin and have them checked as soon as possible. He agreed to do so in my presence without delay. When he opened the battim and removed the parchments, he cried out, ‘Your t’fillin are completely pasul!’ It turned out that a worm, of all things, had somehow managed to wriggle its way into one of the battim and rendered the script on the parchment unfit. It was a shocking sight.

“The scribe put the t’fillin parchments into sheimos and then lent me one of his spare pairs of t’fillin to use in the meantime. As I was making my way home my mind was a complete jumble. On the one hand, it was very disturbing to realize that I had been putting on non-kosher t’fillin all this time. On the other hand, it was also quite amazing how the Creator had arranged for me to come across a letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe that led me to get my t’fillin checked and start putting on stringently kosher t’fillin from now on. Yet, even I couldn’t imagine what was soon about to happen.

“When I arrived home, even though it was already past the morning hours, I quickly donned the t’fillin and started davening. Up until then, when I reached the Shmoneh Esrei, I stood up with great difficulty as I held on to a chair placed in front of me. When I came to the section of ‘Oseh Shalom Bimromav,’ I turned my body to bow to the right, center, and left, and realized that I had succeeded in doing so without feeling any sharp pains. It was a sign that my condition was improving.

“Since that moment, the pains in my back disappeared as if there had never been a problem. They went as quickly as they had come. It was a miracle.

“When I tell you this now, I can feel my entire body trembling with excitement. I attribute this incredible and amazing wonder to the great virtue of Alm-ghty G-d’s shliach, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. I don’t want to think about what my situation would be like today if I hadn’t come across the Rebbe’s letter recommending that I check my t’fillin.”


R’ Matan Yehoshua Sadovnik concluded his amazing story with another Heaven-inspired episode regarding his first home, which he had built with his own hands in that same location in the forest:

“I was unmarried at the time. I had just finished building the wooden structure, and I forgot that I had left candles burning there. The wind fanned the flames throughout the house, which quickly turned into a huge inferno. The result was that the house was totally destroyed by the fire; there was nothing left to salvage. I had a beautiful and extensive library, and all the s’farim had been turned into ashes. However, one seifer was saved – ‘Bracha V’hatzlacha,’ a book of spiritual advice from the Lubavitcher Rebbe…

“A picture of the Rebbe was printed on the cover. My mother had received this seifer as a token of appreciation from the Rebbe’s shliach in Hertzliya for the assistance she had provided to the Chabad House, and she eventually gave the seifer to me. This was the only seifer that survived the fire. I don’t have the slightest idea how it wasn’t burnt together with the rest of the s’farim in the library.”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (
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