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Jewish Thinking

A Great Miracle for a Small Man in the Village

Published on Tuesday February 23th, 2021

Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin served as Rav of the city of Lomza for a while. At that time, rumors of a miracle that happened in a nearby village to a simple and seriously ill Jew spread to surrounding villages. The Jew had been in a coma for three days. While his family prepared for the worst, he suddenly recovered consciousness, and to the astonishment of his family and neighbors, he rose from his bed and completely healed from his illness and regained vibrant health. Rabbi Yehoshua Leib decided to visit him to hear the Jew’s story first-hand.

The farmer, a very simple man, was very honored by the great Sage’s visit, as well as humbled by the Rav’s interest in him. He told the Rav that when he was agonizing and on the verge of death he had the impression of ascending to heaven. He arrived at a place where he was judged for his actions. He described how all his faults were placed on one side of the scales, while his mitzvot were placed on the opposite side. "Unfortunately," continued the farmer, "my Mitzvot were few and far between, while my faults were about to tip the scales to the wrong side. Suddenly, two angels carrying a heavy bundle arrived and laid it on the side of the Mitzvot, which became heavier than the faults. Then I woke up and came back to life. "

Listening to the story of the villager, Rabbi Yehoshua Leib, asked him to tell him about his life. After the Jew began telling his story, the Rav understood he was a very simple Jew. Apart from visiting the synagogue on Yom Kippur, he had not lived a life of commitment to authentic Judaism.

"Perhaps you did another Mitzvah? He asked the villager. The man searched his memory and replied that one day when he came to the synagogue on Yom Kippur, he heard two congregants chatting about the construction of a Sukkah, so he also decided to build one that year. "So I bought planks for the Sukkah according to the length and breadth discussed by the congregants, but once I started building it, I encountered a difficulty: I did not know the Sukkah’s required height.  In the end, I decided to build it to my height, I lay on one of the boards to measure my height, when suddenly a group of thugs walked by and before they opened their mouths, they lifted me with the board and proceeded to "bury" me in one of the streets of the village. I lay down speechless and endured their humiliations until they left me alone. Then I resumed the construction of my Sukkah", concludes the farmer.

Rabbi Yehoshua Leib shook his head and declared: the mitzvah of constructing a Sukkah and the humiliations you endured correspond to the package deposited by the angels on the scales and which changed fate in your favor.

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