THE REBBE HINTED TO ANOTHER TWELVE YEARS
October 28, 2014
Nosson Avrohom in #946, Miracle Story

A meeting between an elderly Belzer Chassid from Bnei Brak and the Rebbe led the Belzer to make two special requests. The Rebbe replied to each of them with psukim from the Book of Psalms. Just before he moved on, the Rebbe added another pasuk, which turned out years later to be an amazing prophecy!

Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

Each year during the summer vacation, hundreds of families, many of whom are Chassidim from Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim, come to rent apartments in the Chabad community of the Holy City of Tzfas. We see a variety of new faces in the neighborhood streets, playgrounds, shuls, and supermarketspeople who come to relax and enjoy the unique atmosphere of this mystical city.

Among the visitors are also some familiar faces we recognize from year to year. One of them is R’ Menachem Mendel Falk from B’nei Brak, a learned Torah scholar known to all local community members, who arrives in Tzfas every summer to daven and farbreng in the central Chabad synagogue.

R’ Mendel is a type of Jew who is easily liked by all those around him. During the Nine Days between Rosh Chodesh Av and Tisha B’Av, when community members customarily complete the study of a tractate of Gemara, he too chose to participate and make a siyum. As he began, he asked if he could share an amazing story about the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach with the congregation.

While this story began in 5750, it ended in a most miraculous fashion just a few hours earlier, when he visited the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Miron with his family and fulfilled his traditional custom of reciting the entire Book of Psalms.

MY GRANDFATHER ASKED TO MEET WITH THE REBBE

             

“My maternal grandfather was Rabbi Meilech (Elimelech) Fried. After his immigration to Eretz Yisroel, he established his residence in the city of Torah and Chassidus – B’nei Brak. I was privileged to have a special grandfather. He was a very gentle and sensitive man who devoted his entire life to Torah study and scrupulously made certain not to cause the slightest anguish to any of his fellow Jews. He was a living example straight out of Chassidic storybooks, a Jew who inwardly and outwardly cleaved to the path of Torah and mitzvos as illustrated in the teachings of the holy Baal Shem Tov.

“His friends and neighbors in the Belzer community of B’nei Brak simply called him ‘Tzaddik.’ I loved him very much and he reciprocated that love towards me. I learned a great deal from him and I became ever closer to him as my Torah knowledge grew. In 5750, nearly a quarter of a century ago, my grandfather had to accompany his wife on a flight from Eretz Yisroel to New York City for some complex medical treatment from specialists located in the great American metropolis.

“By this time, they were no longer young. Despite my grandfather’s youthful spirit and cheerful temperament, he had celebrated his ninetieth birthday only a few months earlier.

“Upon their arrival in New York, my grandparents went to the home of their daughter and son-in-law, Satmar Chassidim living in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. After my grandmother successfully completed her urgent medical treatment, they still had a few days left to spend in New York. Suddenly, I was surprised to receive a phone call from my grandfather. I was even more astonished when I realized that he couldn’t hear me properly because he wasn’t holding the receiver up to his ear. That’s how detached he was from worldly matters…

“After he asked about me and the children, he made a gentle request – as was his nature – for my assistance. He wanted to take advantage of his presence in New York to arrange a meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

“Why couldn’t he enlist the help of his son-in-law, who had given him such tremendous hospitality and provided for all his material needs during his stay? Apparently, this was because his son-in-law belonged to the Satmar community, which was seriously at odds with Lubavitch at the time. I was happy to help my grandfather and wasted no time. I called my brother-in-law, a Chassid from another sect in Borough Park, and he quickly got in touch with my grandfather to set a time to pick him up and take him to Crown Heights.

“My brother-in-law explained to my grandfather that if he wanted to meet the Lubavitcher Rebbe, there was one day during the week when this was possible – Sunday at dollars distribution. Accordingly, when Sunday morning came, he brought him to 770, and after a long wait in line (considering his advanced years), he found himself standing before the Rebbe.”

THE REBBE QUOTED A VERSE FROM HIS PERSONAL KAPITEL

“I only heard the details of the encounter a few days later, when my grandfather returned to Eretz Yisroel. As he stood before the Rebbe and received a dollar, his first request was for a bracha to merit a long life. The Rebbe smiled and quoted from the last pasuk in Chapter 91 of Psalms: ‘I will satisfy him with long life, and show him My deliverance.’

“My grandfather stood there positively dumbfounded. As is customary among many Chassidim, he would recite his personal chapter of T’hillim each morning. Since he was in the ninety-first year of his life, my grandfather read Chapter 91, and in his bracha, the Rebbe had just quoted a verse from that psalm. He told me that he felt that the Rebbe knew exactly how old he was, although he hadn’t made any mention of his age or even alluded to the matter.

“After this incredible bracha, my grandfather realized that he was standing before a true man of G-d, and he decided to ask for another bracha. While longevity is a tremendous blessing, it often happens that people live long lives but their weakening health becomes a burden for their families. My grandfather turned to the Rebbe and requested a bracha for a good, peaceful, and fulfilling life.

“The Rebbe again replied with a quote from T’hillim. In his response, the Rebbe quoted a pasuk from Chapter 92: ‘They shall be fruitful even in old age; they shall be full of sap and freshness.’ It was as if he was saying, ‘You have nothing to worry about. You will continue to live and say more T’hillim.’ Before my grandfather parted from the Rebbe, he heard one more verse from T’hillim, Chapter 103: ‘Your youth shall renew itself like an eagle.’

“What can I say? My grandfather had tremendous respect for the Rebbe before meeting him. However, after this exchange, his appreciation for the Lubavitcher Rebbe intensified.

“My grandfather would always emphasize the first pasuk he heard from the Rebbe, stressing how the Rebbe knew how old he was, even though he had said nothing to him about his age.”

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LAST PASUK

“My grandfather lived for another twelve years after that encounter, and as the Rebbe had blessed him, they were good years and he lived them like a young man. Until his very last day on this earth, he conducted himself with tremendous vigor, far beyond his years. He would go out each day to shul, recalled things in great detail, knew all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was a literal fulfillment of the Rebbe’s bracha: ‘Your youth shall renew itself like an eagle.’ His spirit was like that of someone half his age.

“This past summer, twelve years after his passing, I was sitting at the holy gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and reading T’hillim. When I came to Chapter 103 and read the pasuk ‘Your youth shall renew itself like an eagle,’ I inexplicably stopped – something I had never done before when reading this verse. Whether it was because I was relaxing on vacation or due to the holiness of the Rashbi’s tomb, I suddenly remembered that this was the pasuk that my grandfather had heard from the Lubavitcher Rebbe when they met at Sunday dollars.

“For some strange reason, I looked at the number of the chapter, and then it suddenly hit me. Chapter 103 is the last kapitel that my grandfather recited in this world on a daily basis, when he reached the ripe old age of one hundred and two. In other words, there could be no explanation except that the Lubavitcher Rebbe not only knew when my grandfather was born, he also prophesized when he would pass away.

“This discovery amazed me. Chills went up my spine. After I had calmed down a little from this stunning revelation, I called several family members to tell them about it. Everyone was dumbfounded. When I returned that evening to Kiryat Chabad in Tzfas, I went into the ‘Heichal Levi Yitzchak’ Synagogue and requested permission to speak after Maariv before the congregants. It was clear to me that I had to begin with this amazing story, an integral part of which only became known to me a few hours earlier.”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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