web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



The Holiest Week Of The Omer


Share Button

This is it. The week of hod, which means the inner beauty of the majesty of Hashem. This year it began on Sunday, which was Pesach Sheni, recognized as the yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes, and on Thursday this week we celebrate the amazing day of Lag B’Omer, the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and the day the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva finally stopped dying.

Lag B’Omer is hod she’behod – splendor of splendor – a hint that every Jew, every member of our charming nation, has the power to enter deep into the innermost chambers of Hashem’s majestic kingdom, where a humble prayer can turn death into life.

The year was 1995, and I was celebrating Pesach Sheni at my kiosk, located about 200 feet from view of the Western Wall. We had wine and matzahs and we talked about this holiday of getting a second chance – our ancestors who weren’t able to bring the Paschal sacrifice at the appointed time because they were defiled were told by Hashem that one month later, on the 14th of Iyar, they would get a second chance.

Suddenly someone rushed over to me and said, “Dov, you’ve got to get to Shaare Zedek Hospital; your father had two heart attacks and is now on the operating table fighting for his life.”

I jump up and told myself, “Dov, get to the Kotel fast with your check book. Do chesed on this first day of the week of hod, which is called chesed she’behod. This is better than just waiting to hear the outcome next to the operating room. So I run to the Kotel and each person asking for a few coins got an 18-Shekel check while inside myself I was shouting, “Please, Hashem, save my father’s life!”

My father had gone to the hospital to get a simple procedure to clear the arteries. The procedure failed and the doctor made a terrible mistake in what he did next. The botched effort caused my dad to have not one but two heart attacks. The chief surgeon scolded the doctor for his mistake and tried to save my dad’s life.

My father was in his twelfth year as rabbi of Kehilat Mogen Avraham in Efrat. His congregants needed him; he was only 77 years old.

When I came to the waiting room, everyone was crying – my mother, my brothers, and the doctor who’d blundered. I had my twelve-year-old son with me and my mother said, “Dov, take your son to the bus stop so he’s not here when we get the ‘news.’ ”

I took my son down to the bus and then, in the parking lot of Shaare Zedek, I called out to Hashem: “Please, God, give me the prayer I should pray to You to save my father’s life.”

And like a lightning bolt the thought shot into my head: “Today is Pesach Sheni, the yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes (master of miracles).”

“Yes,” I shouted, and then I chanted the traditional words one says when giving to the many Rav Meir Baal HaNes charities for the poor in Israel.

“God of Meir, answer me! In the merit of the radio shows that I did totally free of charge every Thursday night for two years on behalf of Kollel America, the Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes charity for poor Americans living in Israel, save my father’s life!”

I went back up to the waiting room with a heavy heart. From a distance I saw everybody jumping for joy. The same people who’d been crying only 15 minutes before were now dancing!

Why all the joy? My brother said, “Dov, you missed it. The surgeon just came out and said the operation had ended and there is hope.”

I thought to myself, “I missed it? I made it!”

Three days later I stood by my father’s side in the intensive care unit. I felt I should go to the tomb of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes in Tiberius and thank him and then shoot over to the grave of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meron on Lag B’Omer and somehow get Rabbi Shimon’s assurance that my dad would have a refuah sheleimah, a complete recovery.

Before I left I said to my father, “Daddy, say some Tehillim, please!”

My father, still on oxygen and rigged up to machines, began reciting the words of Psalm 130, “From the depths I call out…if God watches our sins who would survive, for You are He that forgives!” Here my father suddenly stopped his recitation, and I left for Tiberius and Meron.

When I got to the grave of Rabbi Shimon there were thousands of Jews from all over the world there. I pushed my way to the great bonfire atop the grave. In my hand I had the book of stories of Rabbi Shimon that I bring with me each year. I spoke to Rabbi Shimon and begged him, “When I open this book to any page…please give me a sign that my father will survive and have a complete recovery.”

I opened the book and began reading, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

It said, “When Rabbi Shimon was sick and bedridden, all his main students stood by his bedside and declared, “Pillar of the universe, what will be, now, that you lie sick?”

Rabbi Shimon answered, “Don’t worry about me. Because when most people get sick, there is a court in session and there are accusing angels and defending angels, but by me, God himself is healing me. And regarding him it is written, ‘For you are He that Forgives.’ ”

These were the same words my father had uttered before stopping right there in Psalm 130!

I knew then that dad, just as Rabbi Shimon had in his crisis, would survive.

And he did. He went on to live another 12 years, expiring at the ripe old age of 89. This past Shabbos I told this story in my father’s shul in Efrat – and received a great postscript.

Everyone gave me the traditional Yasher Koach, but one man came to me and said, “My brother-in-law is an anesthesiologist who worked with the doctor on your father’s heart operation. And my brother-in-law told me that when they reattached the valves to your father’s heart, it didn’t beat; basically, he was dead.

“They tried again, to no avail. Then the doctor did it one more time and your dad’s heart began beating. My brother-in-law asked the doctor what he had done differently and he replied, “Nothing. It’s unexplainable!”

Hearing that story I could only ask myself, “Was that the moment I prayed my prayer?”

Just a little story – a charming story of God’s charming nation – that occurred during the holiest week of the Omer, when we can see the majestic beauty of the kingdom of Hashem.

Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums of original composition. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at dovshurin@yahoo.com. His column appears in The Jewish Press every other week.

Share Button

About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at dovshurin@yahoo.com. His Jewish Press column appears monthly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

2 Responses to “The Holiest Week Of The Omer”

  1. Tzvi Fishman says:

    Rafuah shelama for your father along with all of Israel's ailing. Looking forward to your next album!

  2. Tzvi Fishman says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! Looking forward to your words of wisdom and especially to your next album!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Indepth Stories
Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

Yossi Klein HaLevi

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

More Articles from Dov Shurin
Dov Shurin

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

Dov Shurin

Boundless love was something Rav Kook had for the nation of Israel. Just as one cannot question the boundless love of Hashem for Israel, one cannot question the boundless love of a Torah giant for his people.

I hollered over and over again, waving a clinched fist toward the heavens.

This past Shabbos, as we read the weekly Torah portion of Bishalach, my son suddenly said to me, “Dad, I have a feeling Sharon is going to pass away today, because we just read his name in Az Yashir [the Song of the Sea] where it says ‘arik charbi.’ ”

God decided to cast Truth down to earth and went on to create the world.

As I put on my tefillin, I knew we needed a miracle.

To me, the biggest joke of it all was the gleeful announcement by Rabin that “We are no longer an am livadad yishkone, a nation that dwells alone!”

Hashem simply goes beyond the letter of the law in His love for us.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/dov-shurin-columns/the-holiest-week-of-the-omer/2012/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: