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Wednesday
Aug082018

THE MASHKE PUT HIM ON HIS FEET

PART I

Motzaei Simchas Torah. Thousands of Chassidim passed by the Rebbe and received a bit of wine from the Rebbe’s cup. One by one, they filed past. To each one, the Rebbe gave a second’s glance and poured some wine. “L’chaim v’livracha,” blessed the Rebbe and the line moved forward. The kos shel bracha on Motzaei Simchas Torah is a sort of grand finale to the spiritually uplifting month of Tishrei.

Among the people on line that year was the shliach from Bat Yam, Rabbi Zimroni Tzik, a”h. He prepared himself to receive the Rebbe’s bracha and also thought that this was a good opportunity to ask for a bottle of mashke for Bat Yam. It was customary for shluchim and influential people to receive, in addition to a bit of wine, a bottle of mashke with which to farbreng when they went home. What could be better than to bring blessing to the city which was your place of shlichus!

In the crowd of thousands there were some young people who had become involved in Judaism through the Chabad House in Bat Yam, fellows who had become an inseparable part of the Chabad House. They had come to spend the holidays with the Rebbe. R’ Tzik thought of them and about those who remained behind, in Eretz Yisroel. He already pictured the big farbrengen he would make on his return, when he would distribute the mashke.

It is hard to describe his feelings as he was about to encounter the Rebbe, all the more so, when he planned to dare to open his mouth and talk to the Rebbe … It wasn’t the first time, but still …

As he got closer, he stood near the long table, moving a few steps closer toward the tablecloth that was once white but was now stained red with wine. A second’s glance from the Rebbe made him tremble. “L’chaim!” “L’chaim v’livracha,” the Rebbe said nodding, and had nearly raised his head to the next person when R’ Tzik mustered his ten soul powers and said, “A bottle of mashke for Bat Yam,” half asking, half saying.

The Rebbe looked at R’ Zimroni again and stretched out his hand for a small, glass bottle of mashke. He slowly moved it to the shliach’s hand while saying, “livracha v’hatzlacha raba u’mufleges (for blessing and great, outstanding success).”

The loyal Chassid trembled with excitement. “Amen!” he said and rushed to leave, his heart exulting.

As he descended the farbrengen platform, some of the Bat Yam fellows came over, looking pleased with themselves. They waved bottles of mashke they had also gotten from the Rebbe for Bat Yam. They did not know that usually the shliach was the one who got a bottle on behalf of the city. They had simply asked and had received bottles.

R’ Zimroni was having some difficulty processing his bewilderment when his friend, R’ Shimshon Giorno, from Anash of Bat Yam, came over. He was also holding a bottle of mashke. He had also asked …

R’ Tzik felt uncomfortable, especially when it caused extra bother for the Rebbe. He did not know what to say. Minutes passed until his mind settled down and as a Chassid he thought, “Everything is by divine providence, so there must be a reason why we got so many bottles of mashke.” This feeling accompanied him on his way home and he shared what happened with those who came to greet him.

 

PART II

The young man of formidable build, wearing a knitted kippa, sat on the edge of the pavement rubbing his knees and pulling them close to his body. He forcibly raised his foot with his hands and mumbled in a terrified voice, “Oy, I can’t lift my foot! I’m paralyzed!” He sounded like he was in shock. A woman who stood next to him responded curtly. “Get up Yaakov. Why did you suddenly decide to sit down in the middle of the street and make a mockery of us?” But Yaakov wasn’t playing games.

Some time passed before the woman realized that something serious was going on and she called an ambulance. Paramedics examined him and then put him on a stretcher into the ambulance with a serious look on their faces.

It was there in the middle of the street that the troubles of Yaakov Miller, a bus driver for the Dan company, and resident of Bat Yam, began. He was brought to Tel HaShomer hospital where he was sent to the neurological department and began to undergo a long series of tests. It turned out that he had indeed been struck with lower body paralysis just like that, in the middle of the street.

 

PART III

Upon returning to Bat Yam at the end of Tishrei, R’ Zimroni Tzik held a farbrengen with the young Lubavitchers of Bat Yam as well as with many of the residents, who came especially to hear what Tishrei with the Lubavitcher Rebbe was like.

At a certain point, one of the participants went over to him and whispered something in his ear. The grave look on his face indicated that he was dealing with something very difficult.

This man had brought the request of the Farkash family of Bat Yam who wanted the Rebbe’s blessing for their nephew, Yaakov Miller, who had been paralyzed. R’ Zimroni poured a little of the mashke he was holding into a tiny bottle and gave it to the man and said, “This is mashke of blessing that I received from the Rebbe. Take it and bring it to Yaakov. Let him drink a little and with Hashem’s help, he will be cured.”

Yaakov Miller himself told this to the reporter for HaTzofeh that was published back then. The reporter had come to interview him and hear his amazing story firsthand.

“They gave me a small bottle with a little mashke of blessing from the Rebbe in it. They urged me to swallow a little so I would merit the tzaddik’s blessing. I drank it. As I did, I felt a warmth spread through my body and a strange sensation. I was both scared and excited. My hope faded when a few minutes later the feeling stopped and the strong pain continued as I had been experiencing all along during those terrible weeks.

“The next day, I got up and to my great surprise I felt a certain sensation in my lower body. I felt that something was starting to happen which signifies a positive development. Slowly, not all at once, the improvement began to progress. I felt again that the limbs of my lower body were becoming responsive, and that the road of recovery from that point till me standing on my two legs was assured.”

A few months passed since the paralysis set in until Yaakov got back on his feet. As he walks to work, handles the steering wheel of the bus or lifts his legs to jog, he knows a miracle happened to him.

Yaakov is happy to tell anyone who wants to know how he is, about the miracle; an open miracle thanks to the blessing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe through his shliach in Bat Yam, Rabbi Zimroni Tzik.

The doctors were astounded, the family rejoiced, and everyone praised and thanked the one who did open miracles.

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