One of the well-known maggidim in Eretz Yisrael was once invited to speak at a mesivta in Jerusalem to deliver a shmuess and words of chizuk. He began by retelling a story that he had heard firsthand.
In the city of Ofakim, a desert town 20 kilometers west of Be’er Sheva, there lived a yungerman who was not blessed with children for many years. He and his wife lived in a community where many families had multiple children and it pained them that they could not partake of this wonderful blessing. Many years of treatments and visiting doctors in many parts of the world did not bring the desired results, and the couple resorted to all sorts of s’gulos and charms in their never-ending quest. When this, too, failed, the man became noticeably depressed.
His condition was not lost on the Rav of Ofakim, Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus zt”l, and one day, the Rav came over and said to the man, “I believe there is one s’gulah that you have not tried. I would love to share it with you but right now I am a bit busy. If you come to my house tonight after midnight, I will show you the s’gulah.”
The yungerman brightened and couldn’t contain his excitement. He counted the hours until midnight and then hurriedly ran to the Rav’s house, where he knocked lightly on the door. In seconds, the door was opened, and Rav Shimshon ushered him outside and into his car. The man followed and they began to drive.
“Rebbi, what is the s’gulah?” asked the man impatiently. “Wait,” answered Rav Shimshon, “not yet.”
The two continued to drive east towards Be’er Sheva, and then further south in the direction of Yerocham. Thirty to 40 kilometers sped by, and Rav Shimshon hadn’t said a word. Suddenly, he pulled over to the side of the road, and pointed to the flat desert terrain. “Here. Get out over here.”
The anxious young man didn’t know what to do. They were in the middle of the desert – in the middle of nowhere.
“Here? What is here? There is nothing here! Where is the s’gulah? What am I supposed to do?” The young man was frightened and unsure what to do.
“Right here, right now, you will be alone in the desert. Just you and the Ribbono shel Olam. Now is the time for you to break down and cry real tears. Daven to Hashem like you’ve never davened before – Hashem wants to hear your t’filos – and in the merit of this s’gulah, you will see a y’shuah. I will come back for you in a half hour.”
With that, the yungerman got out of the car and Rav Shimshon sped off. All alone, in the pitch darkness, somewhere in the Negev desert, the man began to daven and soon he was totally caught up in his prayers. He begged and screamed and with no one around to inhibit him, he truly davened like never before. He begged and he cried, and he asked Hashem to have mercy on him and his wife and give them a child.
Precisely 30 minutes later, Rav Shimshon drove up and rolled down his window. “No, you did not cry enough,” said the Rav, to the astonished man. “This is not how to cry. Cry! Really cry! Beg and plead – and cry from the depths of your heart and soul! Give it every last ounce of energy – use all of your remaining strength! Then...you will see salvation!”
Rav Shimshon rolled his window back up and drove away a second time!
The yungerman walked back into the desert night and let it all out. He screamed at the top of his lungs and cried to the point of total exhaustion. When Rav Shimshon pulled up 30 minutes later, he got out of the car and smiled. “Yes! This is what I meant by crying!” The man’s face was bright red and he was soaked through and through from perspiration – and buckets and buckets of salty tears! “Now, you will surely see y’shuas Hashem,” concluded the Rav.
Indeed, nine months later, almost to the day, the couple was blessed with a beautiful, healthy, baby boy!
The maggid concluded his shmuess and, as he was walking out of the yeshivah, an excited mesivta bachur came over and said, “K’vod HaRav, I am the son who was born to that couple!”
How great is the power of a true t’filah!