Monday, June 5, 2017

A Rebbe Story: The Specialist

“Please Rebbe, you must help me” wept the stricken Jew before Rebbe Mordechai of Neschiz zt”l:  The Rebbe asked him what the trouble was and the man replied that he was critically ill.  He had consulted many doctors, but none of them held out any hope for him. “Only you can help me, Rebbe, now that all hope is gone!” he said.  

“Hmmm.  And have you been to the specialist from Anipoli yet?” the Rebbe asked. 

The ill man wrinkled his forehead in surprise and replied that he had not heard of him and had not seen him yet. “Well then, you should go to him at once.” the Rebbe advised.   

Hope rekindled in his heart, the dying man packed a few belongings and set off.  The journey was not comfortable in the least, but finally, he reached Anipoli.  The man jumped out of the coach -- already feeling better.   

He stopped the first person walking by and asked him where the specialist lived.  The man looked at him in bewilderment and replied “Specialist?  Here, in Anipoli?  There is no specialist living here!  You must be mistaken.” 

The dying man told the passerby that there was no mistake -- a great man sent him there to consult the specialist about his illness.   

He turned away from the passerby, found another local resident and asked him about the specialist.  The man looked at him as if he were crazy and told him that they didn’t even have their own doctor!   

The dying man now realized he must be the one mistaken.  But still, the Rebbe had sent him here.  There must be some explanation.  

“Well then, what do you do here when someone becomes ill?” he asked falteringly.  

“Now that is a different question altogether,” the man said. “If someone falls ill, we pray to Hashem to cure him.  It is as simple as that!” 

Crestfallen, the Jew saw that he had nothing else to seek in Anipoli and took the first coach back to Neschiz.  He returned to Reb Mordechai zt”l and poured out his painful story to him -- telling him that there was no specialist in Anipoli -- they didn’t even have a general practitioner, and that his trip was all in vain.   

The Rebbe raised his eyes questioningly. “And what do people do when someone becomes ill?  Did you find out?”  

“Yes” the unhappy Jew replied weakly “Since they have no doctor, they pray to Hashem to cure them.” 

“Aha!” said the Rebbe triumphantly, “That is the answer.  That is the Specialist I wanted you to consult.  Hashem!  He is the Ultimate Healer.  He is the One to Whom you must turn in your suffering and pain for only He can help you!  As it says in the Torah (Parshas Beshalach) ‘For I am Hashem your Healer.’ (Tales of Tzaddikim, Shemos; p. 94-96).

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