“What do you do in your family if you lose something?” Ella asked.
“We ask Rabbi Meir Baal Haness to help us find it,” I answered immediately. “I think it’s time you did it for Dovid,” Ella says.
I looked at her. I couldn’t quite understand where this conversation was heading, as Ella doesn’t let go of her theme. “Look, Dovid’s 35 years old. His zivug was born a long time ago and she’s out there somewhere, but she’s lost. It’s time to ask for help in finding her.”
I’m sitting with Ella, a childhood friend. I don’t see Ella very often since I live in Israel and Ella lives in Australia, where we both grew up. Childhood friends are very special; they remember you with scrappy knees and untidy hair. They knew your parents and grandparents. They understand you without having to hear every word about your unhappiness.
Yes, my husband and I are unhappy. Our son, Dovid, is single at 35. He is very careful in keeping mitzvot, he participates in daily shiurim, and he is well known professionally. Nevertheless, he is still single.
Why should we need to ask for help? I inquire of Ella. “We say Tehillim, and we’ve gone to Amuka in Safed three times. Every Rosh Chodesh my husband goes to the grave of Rav Dimmi in Haifa. But Dovid is still single.”
“It’s puzzling,” Ella agrees. “He has all the qualities a girl could wish for. He’s also tall and slim, no glasses and has all his hair. What harm can it do to ask Reb Meir Baal Haness?”
I have had a long acquaintance with Reb Meir Baal Haness. I remember the first time my father told me about him. My father was sick and I was sitting next to his bed. He would often tell me stories from the Tanach, but that afternoon I was rather despondent. “Why are you unhappy, my child?” he asked.
I didn’t immediately answer him. I had lost my gold necklace, which was one of my few valuables, and I didn’t want to upset him. After a while he asked again, and I told him of my loss. “In our family, if we lose or misplace anything, we ask Reb Meir Baal Haness to help us find it. You must make a neder that you will give some money as tzedakah when you find it. But a word of warning: if you do not give tzedakah when you have found your lost item, Reb Meir Baal Haness will never help you again. Go, little one, to where you were playing and I am sure you will find your necklace.”
I went looking in the grass where I had sat with a book, and after about 10 minutes I found the golden necklace. I was overjoyed and very carefully put the promised sum in the Meir Baal Haness box.
“This time I suggest you give the tzedakah before you find the lost item. Put a coin in the Meir Baal Haness box every day and ask Reb Meir Baal Haness to find the lost kallah,” Ella told me.
Upon returning to Israel, every day I put a shekel in the plastic box that I designated for this purpose. I kept the box in the bedroom so I would see it as I prepared for the day ahead. And I made the same request every day: please find Dovid’s lost kallah.
Ten months after I began putting the money aside, we were burglarized. The whole house was torn apart, and we could not sleep in the bedroom that night. The contents of the cupboards were strewn all over the house, and a few pieces of jewelry were taken: a ring, a necklace and a bracelet. When I could enter the bedroom I opened the Reb Meir Baal Haness tzedakah box – and I could not believe my eyes. Miraculously, the 300 shekels in the box had been left untouched.
A few weeks later, about a year after I started asking Reb Meir Baal Haness for his help in finding Dovid his zivug, Dovid found her. The kallah had certainly been lost. She lived 10 minutes from our house. One of her sisters and our oldest daughter had attended the same kindergarten. It would have been too convenient for them to have met near their homes. Instead, they met at a Purim function in Jerusalem.
Ella and I have told this story to many people who are single or have unmarried children. To date, 41 people have told us that they found their zivugs after putting a coin in the tzedakah box while asking Reb Meir Baal Haness to help them find their lost partner.
A caller told me, “You are the first to know. Our son got engaged last night. Since I met you exactly a year ago, I followed your advice and a miracle happened.”
When your son, a successful physician, gets engaged at the age of 50, it is truly a neis.
Let me know when your neis occurs by e-mailing me at email@example.com.