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Stories Of Greatness

Saved By A Prayer

Klal Yisrael sang a special shirah upon learning of the hidden miracle Hashem performed for them,...

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Shimon was an 11-year-old boy learning in a Polish cheder, when Rav Meir Shapiro zt”l, the Lubliner Rav, came to test the boys and speak to them in learning. The children exceeded his expectations and the Rav told the children that, as a prize for doing so well, he was going to share with them a secret for life. He quoted the following words from the Ba’eir Heiteiv in the name of the Chinuch: “Whoever is careful to recite Birkas HaMazon with kavanah, word for word (from a bentcher), is assured he will never worry about where his next meal will come from, for his needs will be taken care of with respect and generosity all the days of his life.” The words entered Shimon’s heart and he decided, right then and there, to accept upon himself to always bentch with kavanah (concentration). It wasn’t easy. After lunch, while other children ran out to play, he stayed longer, taking his time, saying each word carefully, losing most of recess, but never relenting on his kabalah.

The Torah describes in vivid detail how Moshe reacted to the inflammatory words of Korach followed by Dasan and Aviram, and their pathetic attempt to usurp power and rebel against the word of Hashem. “Moshe was exceedingly angry, and he said to Hashem, ‘Do not accept their offering. I have not taken a donkey from a single one of them, and I have not harmed a single one of them.’”

Wednesday, 28 Iyar, June 8, 1967, was the third day of the Six-Day War, and it was the first time that residents of Jerusalem felt that the Yad Hashem was guiding the Jewish Nation to victory. Many people ventured outside and saw jeeps filled with smiling soldiers traveling toward Har HaTzofim (Mt. Scopus). The peak of joy came at dusk when the news came that the Kosel HaMaaravi, the Western Wall, had been liberated. People poured out of their shelters. The streets teemed with celebrating and emotion-laden people. The first ones to merit reaching the Kosel brought back small stones, which were passed from hand to hand. Their joy was indescribable – what a miracle Hashem had wrought for His beloved people.

As a young man, Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz chose to spend a few summers helping the local shluchim at Chabad-Lubavitch of Alaska. He would routinely stand outside the Alaska Visitors Center in downtown Anchorage with a pair of t’filin and packets of information about Jewish programs, greeting tourists disembarking from the scenic cruises along the Alaskan coastline. If they were Jewish, he would let them know where they could find a minyan or a good kosher meal.

Klal Yisrael sang a special shirah upon learning of the hidden miracle Hashem performed for them, as they passed through the mountains of Arnon. The Emoriyim lay in ambush, hoping to destroy the nation as they crossed the canyon; but instead, Hashem caused the mountains on both sides to come together, crushing the would-be attackers and saving the Jewish people.

As a young man, Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz chose to spend a few summers helping the local shluchim at Chabad-Lubavitch of Alaska. He would routinely stand outside the Alaska Visitors Center in downtown Anchorage with a pair of t’filin and packets of information about Jewish programs, greeting tourists disembarking from the scenic cruises along the Alaskan coastline. If they were Jewish, he would let them know where they could find a minyan or a good kosher meal.