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As If It Never Were
by Yoel Halla

This story took place in the ‘80s, when I was still quite young. My father, Shlomo, of blessed memory, was a well-known paint contractor. My father worked long hours, yet our home life was calm and tranquil.

All this came to a halt one day when my father began to feel strong pains in his lower back. He was not that old, and he assumed that the pains were due to either a slight cold or cramped muscles. However, the pains did not subside; they grew worse from day to day. After a few days, he realized that these pains were serious, and he went to the Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, Israel for a series of x-rays and examinations. The entire family prayed for his recovery.

According to the opinion of several expert physicians, he was suffering from pressure on his vertebrae and a seriously slipped disc. The doctors’ words hit him like a clap of thunder. It was apparent that the heavy physical labor over the years had taken its toll. Every professional he consulted described his condition as “irreversible.”

My father’s overall mood became most dispirited. He usually would wake up early in the morning to practice his craft, and now he was confined to his bed, lying stiff and immobile. He remained hospitalized for several months, hoping for a change in his condition.

The doctors secured my father to his hospital bed in a position that would not put any pressure on his vertebrae. It was a pitiful sight. Naturally, all my father’s work came to a complete halt. The economic situation of the family became quite difficult. Young and inexperienced as I was, I tried to help in whatever way possible.

After several months, as my father’s hospital room turned into our second home, the doctors decided that since his condition remained unchanged, as they saw when they compared the x-rays taken throughout this period, the only option left was to operate. Success in the type of operation they were proposing ran close to 50%. However, if it failed it could lead to paralysis.

My father made the difficult and courageous decision not to undergo surgery. The doctors were skeptical. They tried to convince him to change his mind, telling him how many people in similar situations initially refused to have the operation but eventually returned to the hospital when they realized they had no choice. “We’ll be expecting you here in a few weeks,” they told him.

Yet, my father remained steadfast in his decision. He signed the release papers, left the hospital and began to recuperate at home.

His good friend, Mr. Yossi Parchi, who came to visit him and saw his state of health and how much suffering he was enduring, asked him if he had already written to the Lubavitcher Rebbe about his condition.

When my father replied in the negative, his friend proceeded to express his great praise of the Rebe, bringing stories of his tremendous spiritual abilities and the many miracles that had taken place in merit of the Rebbe’s blessings. My father became quite excited and asked him to obtain the telephone number of the Rebbe’s secretaries in New York.

My father called the office and described his life story and what he had gone through over the past few months. The secretary promised that he would submit the request to the Rebbe, and they would get back to him as soon as the Rebbe replied.

Not long afterward, the secretaries called him back and informed him that the Rebbe had blessed him with a full recovery. It was nothing less than a miracle. Right after the Rebbe’s answer, my father’s condition began to improve in an amazing manner. His pains decreased, and after just three days, he could already stand and walk upright as if nothing had happened.

Words are inadequate to describe the great joy that engulfed all of us. My father could not stop thanking and praising the Rebbe for instilling him with renewed and revitalized life.

He returned to the hospital, and the doctors thought he had come to ask for the operation. They were stunned to see that the new x-rays showed no problem whatsoever. It wasn’t that the pain had lessened or become more tolerable—it had disappeared as if it had never been.
 

 


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