During one of my routine visits to the hospital as a volunteer chaplain, I met Mr. Charles.
He had come to be with his wife who was being treated at this hospital for a terminal illness. “Rabbi,” Mr. Charles asked me, “I want to say prayers; what prayers can I say?” I told Mr. Charles about the power of the words of Tehillim (Psalms).
“Tehillim is a gift to the Jewish people from David, King of Israel. The Jewish people have kept the Tehillim close to their hearts and recite these Psalms in good times and in times of difficulty, beseeching and praising G-d,” I told him.
Mr. Charles was grateful for the advice and asked for a Book of Tehillim. He sat at his wife’s bedside reading Tehillim. Three months later, his dear wife passed away. Mr. Charles was devastated and asked if I could help him find a rabbi to do the funeral in Philadelphia where they have a family plot. I connected him with a Chabad rabbi in Philadelphia who conducted the funeral. Mr. Charles’ mother, who lives there, attended the funeral of her daughter in law. She was sad, yet, felt something special stir within her.
What she experienced at this funeral was the compassionate care of the Chabad rabbi. She listened intently as he explained the significance and importance of a Jewish burial, and the eternity of the soul.
David’s mother made a 180 degree turn around and decided that she wanted a kosher Jewish burial (instead of cremation which she was signed up for, G-d forbid).
From Chicago, to Philadelphia, to California, where David eventually moved to be closer to his son, Mr. Charles continues to stay in touch with Chabad.
“Each encounter with a Jewish person can bring them closer to their Judaism,” Rabbi Brackman says. “Who would think that today for Mr. Charles, the Book of Tehillim is his constant companion, and he studies Torah with his Chabad rabbi in California. All from a ‘chance’ – Divine Providence – encounter in a hospital room. And the ripple effect on his mother is a wonderful reminder, that the heart of every Jewish person is open when exposed to love and caring especially at a time of need.
May we merit the revelation of Moshiach Now! when all those who repose in the ground will arise and the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d….”
Thank you, Rabbi Brackman for sharing this story with relevant lessons to all of us. Thank you Rebbe for your care and concern for each and every Jewish person and sending out the Shluchim and Shluchot to the far-fetched corners of the globe.
Mr. Charles son was so impressed with the care and concern of the Chabad shluchim that he made it known to them that if anyone in Chabad needed the services of a lawyer he would be happy to help out pro bono. The word got out among some shluchim and his name was passed around.
One shlucha was dealing with an issue involving her preschool building and when she heard about this lawyer decided to give him a call. He was happy to help and thank G-d the situation was resolved.
During Covid, Baila Brackman, wife of the shliach who helped Mr. Charles, and her lovely sisters decided to do a cooking demonstration on Facebook. Watching the demo was none other than the lawyer. He noticed that one of the young ladies’ names matched the person whom he had helped. How excited he was to realize that it was non other than the sister of the Shluchim who helped his parents!
Thank you Baila, for all you and your husband do wholeheartedly for your students and others! May Hashem bless you with all manner of revealed good physically and spiritually.