Prayer & Yom Kippur Stories

Sep 10th, 2013 by admin in Holidays, Prayer
1.This from R Moshe Mayerfeld, heard from Dayan Dunner, London Beis Din, a true story which the dayan personally verified, on the power of prayer.

An orthodox woman in an old age home, lets call her Mrs Shwartz, dies suddenly, the family is called, and they give her the fitting and appropriate halachic burial. Three days into shiva the phone goes, the daughter answers the phone, is clearly shocked by whatever she hears on the end of the line and faints! The brother goes to the phone, puzzled, picks up the receiver, is also clearly shocked by what he hears on the line and also faints. Finally someone is able to take the phone calmly – and hears the voice of Mrs Shwartz herself, terribly upset……..‘Where have you been? What’s happened, you haven’t come to see me in three days?!?’ So of course, Mrs Shwartz is alive and well! What happened?

Well they investigate, and it turns out that the nursing home made a terrible clerical error – it turns out that Mrs Shwartz had a room mate, Mrs Cohen, and it was in fact Mrs Cohen, her room mate, who had died! So great, the Shwartzes are elated, reunited with their mother – and that alone would be a great way to end the story. Imagine how the Shwartzes recommitted to life after that! But what about the other side? What does the nursing home do about the family of Mrs Cohen, who died three days earlier, and was already buried? How do they face that horrific situation of advising the family? So the staff holds an emergency meeting at which the director decides to take the responsibility of calling the family and breaking the news however best he can.

So he calls the next of kin – a son, let’s call him Michael Cohen – even though the staff have never met him; in fact none of the family have ever been around! And so the director calls, introduces himself over the phone, but before he can say any more, the son cuts him off abruptly, saying if it is about his mother he doesn’t want to know. Of course, the director is taken aback, but this is important, he has to try to get the news through, but whenever he speaks the son just cuts him off. Eventually the son gets really angry and says: ‘Let me explain something to you! We disowned our mother three years ago. She was always going on at us about our Jewishness, or lack of it as she would complain. She would drive us crazy. In the end we threatened that if she did not stop nagging us we would cremate her, but even that did not stop her – on and on and on until we just cut ties altogether. And even then the last thing she told me was, until the day she dies, she will pray for a Jewish burial – and the silly woman really believed it would happen!!’

Story told by Dayan Dunner, confirmed as true! Power of prayer etc etc

2.This from Steve Eisenberg, a moshal as told to him many years back by R Simcha Weinberg

1941, small shtetl in Poland, erev YK, Jews doing what they do to get ready for the holiest day of the year. Men are rushing to mikve, women preparing the seuda hamafsekes, kids are cleaning their clothes, …….all in an aura of sanctity and awe.

Suddenly, breaking the focused tumult of the afternoon, Nazi trucks come storming into the shtetl, and within moments the Jews have been rounded up and every man, woman and child was shot. What took generations to build was destroyed in a matter minutes. The neshomos came to the beis din she’ll maalo and they were preparing to stand in judgement, but they complained to Hashem: ‘Ribbono shel Olam, Your will is supreme, we will accept our fate, but so close to Yom Kippur? We have not even had the chance for tshuva!’ Evidently the Al-mighty listened and told them: ‘Your’e right, I will give you the opportunity that you are asking for, you will return to life and have one hour to change your destiny.’

So they came back, and each was clearly aware of the area of his life that he needed to fix up. This one gave tzeddoko, this one helped the elderly, this one learned Torah in his given hour. Everyone in shomayim had been lacking the limbs corresponding to the lackings in their actions – they knew what they had to change and they were driven to do it.

Not a true story – obviously – but imagine if it were. What would you change? You have one hour, make the most etc etc

Thank you to all for their contributions gmar chasima tova

Rabbi Yitz Sandler

Aish UK

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