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Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 22 Tammuz 5780
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A Much Wanted Baby

Chagit Briga looked over the "help wanted" ads in the classified section of her local paper. Her husband had traveled to Africa on business for several weeks, leaving her alone with one small child and another baby on the way. Now Chagit was seeking a job, to keep her occupied while her husband was away.

Her eyes were drawn to a small box: "The Chabad organization in Rechovot is seeking a receptionist." Hmm. Receptionist, thought Chagit to herself. That sounds like the perfect job for me. An ultra-religious organization? Well, what of it? It will be an interesting opportunity to get to know religious people up close.

 Chagit went for an interview with Rabbi Elimelech Shachar, director of the Chabad institutions in Rechovot. All her previous stereotypes of religious people were shattered from her first encounter with this gentle and unassuming man. She was offered the job and accepted it. Over the next few weeks, as she got to know her employer, she became more and more impressed with his wisdom and kindness.

 As mentioned, Chagit was expecting her second child. At one routine visit, the doctor scheduled her for an ultrasound. However, to her shock, the doctor informed her that the test revealed that the baby seemed to be suffering from a severe heart defect.

Confused and upset, Chagit made an appointment with another doctor, a specialist in the field. He ordered a round of tests and came to the same conclusion; the baby had a heart defect incompatible with life.

If only her husband were at her side to help her decide what to do in this crisis. But he was thousands of miles away in Africa, and Chagit was on her own, to make a fateful decision.

That evening, Chagit went to her mother-in-law and told her what the doctors had reported. She had already made up her mind to undergo an abortion. Her mother-in-law tried to convince Chagit to at least wait until her husband returned home from his business trip, but Chagit refused.

Later that night, Chagit went to sleep and had a most disturbing dream. She saw herself sitting in what looked like a clinic waiting room, dressed in a black and green outfit. Opposite her, on red chairs, a couple was seated, and it seemed to Chagit that they, too, were awaiting a termination of pregnancy.

Suddenly, Chagit looked to her right and saw the image of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, dressed in his tallit and tefillin. The Rebbe looked just like the pictures Chagit was familiar with. The Rebbe looked at her without saying a word, but in his eyes Chagit read the message: "I have come here for your sake. Don't do this!" At this point Chagit awoke.

Although she was quite shaken up, Chagit was disinclined to pay much attention to dreams and certainly not to allow them to dictate the course of her life. She pulled herself together and left for the clinic, as she had planned.

Sitting in the waiting room of the clinic, which she was visiting for the first time in her life, she had an odd sensation: The room looked very familiar. She thought about it for a moment and then blinked in surprise: This was exactly how the room had appeared in her dream! The same room, the same pictures on the walls, the same red chairs. Then the door opened and in walked a young couple--the very same two people she had seen in her dream.

Chagit looked down and realized that she was also wearing the same clothes she was wearing in her dream. "G-d almighty! Is the Rebbe also going to appear in this room?"

 Chagit bolted from her chair and ran from the room. It was impossible--a dream--but she felt she could not stay in that room another minute.

Chagit's first stop after leaving the clinic was the office of Rabbi Elimelech Shachar. In a shaking voice she related what had happened, and asked Rabbi Shachar's opinion about what it all meant. Rabbi Shachar, radiating calm and sincerity, told Chagit: "Don't worry. In my opinion, you will give birth to a healthy and whole child. The Rebbe has taken you under his protection, and everything will go smoothly."

The faith and serenity with which Rabbi Shachar stated this message won over Chagit. He gave her the strength to put aside the dire predictions of the doctors. She still felt that she was taking a big risk by continuing the pregnancy. However, she no longer felt capable of carrying out the termination. Her experience had been so palpable that it left her feeling quite sure of this fact.

Several months later, Chagit gave birth to a son. Yuval was the name given to the "child of the Rebbe" born to the Briga family. He was born healthy and whole, and at his brit milah, his proud parents told over the miracle of the Rebbe that led to his safe birth.



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