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The greatest doctor


In the late 50s, Shlomo Carlebach and Zalmen Shachter became the first two shluchim (messengers) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Shlomo told Rav Gedaliah Fleer the following personal story:

During the summer time, Shlomo said, the Rebbe instructed me to go to the sleep-away camps in upstate NY and play music for the campers. My father was upset about it because he wanted me to sit and learn in yeshiva. The Rebbe told me it’s ok that he’s upset, but I must make sure to get home every shabbos and be with my father, which I did. One Friday afternoon I was talking really deep to one of the young people there when I realized that I missed the last bus to the city. How would I make it home to be with my father for shabbos? So I went out to the highway to try and hitch a ride. Thank God, a little yiddele saw me standing out on the highway and pulled over. I asked him if he was going to NY and he said yes, so I got in. I said, “Brother, you have to drive me home to the West Side to be with my father for Shabbos”. The guy says, “No way! I’ll drive you to NY but I need to be in Brooklyn for Shabbos”. I kept on noodging him and he says to me, “Look, I had a hard week. My wife was in a car accident here in Liberty. She’s in bad shape and I was with her in the hospital all week. I need to get back to Brooklyn, send the babysitter home and get my kids ready for shabbos”. I said to him, “Brother, I’m a shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe told me that I need to be home for shabbos. Do you know that the Talmud says, ‘שלוחו של אדם כמותו’, which means that a messenger is like the sender? Since the Rebbe sent me, I’m telling you – as if I’m the Lubavitcher Rebbe – that if you drive me to the West Side to be with my father for shabbos, you’re wife will have a speedy recovery”. Well, he believed me and took me home, and hopefully he got home for shabbos too.              Sunday, I get in to see the Rebbe and I’m telling him about my week playing music and telling stories to the kids. I told him my father is still not happy with me. The Rebbe asked me if I’m coming home every shabbos, like he instructed? So I say, “Oh! Rebbe, I have to tell you. I told this guy that if he drove me home for shabbos, then your prayers would heal his wife who’s in the ICU in Liberty. Here’s her name…”. The Rebbe says to me, “You said what”? I said, “Yes, I told him that I’m your shliach and that if he drives me home, then I promised his wife a full recovery in your name”. The Rebbe started to laugh. I never saw him laugh like this. He got up and was holding on to the table laughing. Then he says to me, “Ok Shlomo, I’ll take care of this one. But never do that again”. Rav Gedaliah asked Shlomo, “Why do you think he laughed so hard”? So Shlomo answered back, “Why do you think he laughed”? Rav Gedaliah answered, “I think he laughed to sweeten the judgements against that lady”. Shlomo agreed, “Yes, I think you’re right”.

In Tinyana 1Rebbe Nachman teaches, based on the Medrash, that all remedies and drugs receive their potency from the stars and constellations that rule over them. Those stars and constellations then receive their strength from the angels above them. Then those angels, in turn, get their power from even higher angels, who rule over them. At every level the angels are ‘borrowing’ power from each other, higher and higher in the celestial realms, until they borrow from the ‘greatest of all lenders’, the one who perfects his prayer. This man or woman who truly prays can heal anyone. As you could imagine, it’s not that easy to reach these lofty heights of prayer. The tzaddik must free himself from three things that undermine his prayer. He can’t disparage other people and he must subdue his gluttonous and promiscuous desires. Thank God, throughout our history, we’ve merited to have these great lenders. Whether it was Moses, Rabbe Chanina Ben Dosa or the Lubavitcher Rebbe, there are always these great leaders who are ready to ‘lend a helping hand’.

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