As a chaplain in the hospital for many years, I have seen my share of challenges people experience. Yet, from time to time, Hashem sends an undeniable miracle in front of our eyes,
John was a patient at the University of Chicago Medical Center. When I met him, he had come in for some tests. I offered to put on Tefillin with him and he was very happy to do so. He asked me to come back the following week when he was scheduled for surgery. I returned the day before the surgery and once again, John put on Tefillin. We chatted for a while and I told him that there was a Shliach (Chabad emissary) where he lived and it would be best for him to connect with his local Shliach in South Bend, Indiana when he returns home.
A month later, John sent me a picture of himself with the Shliach. He informed me that he had been putting on Tefillin with him and had even bought his own pair of Tefillin. But the best he left for last. “Rabbi,” he said, “you won’t believe what happened. The day after I put on Tefillin with you, I was sitting in scrubs in the hospital preparing for surgery, when the doctor came in and said, ‘NO SURGERY!’ I was so confused and could not understand what was happening. The doctor informed me that the new x-ray showed that I had a cyst – not a tumor, ch’v. He said he would monitor it to make sure it heals properly, but that I did not need surgery. The following week I went back to my doctor, and he reassured me that it was only a cyst, and it would be fine. Rabbi,” John said emphatically, “G-d performed a miracle for me!”
Today John continues to study with Rabbi Schneur Gansburg in his hometown and puts on his own Tefillin daily, thanking G-d for His miracle!
Rabbi Gansburg adds: When I first contacted John, I invited him to come to the Chabad House to meet. We sat down together, and I introduced him to the Torah portion of the week. We set up a weekly study session to put on Tefillin and learn together. John was delighted. We studied together for a while and then he put on Tefillin for the third time in his life. The next week when he came, I showed him a sample Tefillin which I keep on hand to teach people how the Tefillin are made, and the four parshiyot (Torah portions) in the Tefillin. I explained each part as I went along. I told John how the Rebbe began the Tefillin Campaign to help Israel through a difficult time, and how he explained time and time again the great blessings for Klal Yisroel (all the Jewish people) when a man or boy over bar mitzvah puts on Tefillin. The following week when we met to study together, John told me that he had searched on Amazon for Tefillin as he would like to have his own pair to put on daily in gratitude to Hashem for His miracle. I assured him that I would purchase a pair for him from a reliable source. Again, at this study session, John put on Tefillin. Using a Jewish calendar, I showed John the days we do NOT don Tefillin. – Shabbat and Holidays. For Shavuot, when he joined us at the Chabad House, I reminded him that we don’t put on Tefillin on these two days because they are a holiday. This turned out to be very difficult for John, as he loved doing this meaningful mitzvah. He told me how much he missed putting on his Tefillin! Within a short time, John was an expert Tefillin wearer.
Thank you Rabbi Brackman and Rabbi Gansburg for this story and John for giving permission to use it.
We wish you continued good health physically and spiritually.