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This is a reprint of a post from last June which I fell all the more acutely after having recently lost two good friends to cancer.

I have a problem. Cancer. Don't worry about me. I am healthy Baruch Hashem. But many, many people are suffering from this horrible illness. So horrible that Jews refer to it euphemistically "Yenna Machala" "The Big C" etc. Too horrible even to pronouce - and people experience this Gehenom as a daily reality. Good people. Tzaddikim. Children. Sweet innocent children. In the Holy of Holies there were two cherubs who had the face of children. Children are the Holy of Holies. And they suffer so. Holy jewish mothers. Metaphorically compared to the Shechina Hakedosha. Instead of sending off their little angels to school in the morning with a kiss and hug they languish in a hospital bed. Unsure if they will be alive for their children's weddings - or next birthday.

My heart is breaking. If you have a heart of flesh and not of stone so is yours.
What can we do?

My Holy Rebbe The Tolna Rebbe Shlita related the following story. About 10 years ago the Gerrer Rebbe Rav Pinchas Menachem Alter Zatzal went to the Kotel to daven. He went at a time when he thought that his chassidim would not be there so that he would not be mobbed. It didn't help. People recognized him [with the preponderece of Rebbe cards it's hard to remain anonymous...] and crowded around him to request brachos. He patiently listened to each and every supplicant. Most people gave him the name of cancer patients for whom to daven.

During the car ride home the Gerrer Rebbe repeated the names he had just heard [and there were many!!!] beseeching Hashem for a Refuah Shleima. Then he turned to the Tolna Rebbe and said :" Do you know why there is so much cancer in the world? Cancer can start with one tiny cancerous cell. All the surrounding cells are perfectly healthy. Then the cancer begins to spread and afflicts the healthy cells. Jealousy works the same way. One person feels jealous about his friends success and then destroys him with negative feelings and Ayin RaĆ”. I FEAR THAT UNTIL WE RID OURSELVES OF THIS SPIRITUAL MALIGNANCY THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION WILL CONTINUE TO RUN RAMPANT".

I could never make such a claim but the Gerrer Rebbe who had Ruach Hakodesh [documeted but not our topic] could and did. "Ayin Hara motzi es haodom min haolam". Kipshuto.

Something to think about next time you are inclined to feel jealous.

Instead we can try to have an Ayin Tovah. "Isn't it wonderful that so and so is so wealthy/ found such a great shidduch [even if I am single!!!]/has everything going for him" [or so you think]/ etc. etc.

Number two - Cry. [If your are male it might be more difficult, but it can be done.] Hashem loves our tears. He counts them. Believe that your tears can alleviate pain better than any pain-killer. They heal. Doctors are only fallible human beings. Hashem can do the job with ease. But, kvyochol, he needs our tears first. Then the doctors will be successful. If we don't cry when the choleh is still alive then ... well I've attended far too many funerals and oh how the tears flow. Like waterfalls. Hashem Yerachem.

One more thing. As long as you and your loved ones are healthy - appreciate it .
It is a gift too often seen as such only after it is lost.

Best of health to all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love and Blessings

Elchanan ben Henna Miriam

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Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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