Jan 17, 2019

the Rebbe's illness transferred to the goy

Kikar has a wild story running right now.

One of the Visznitzer Rebbes, Rav Yisrael Eliezer Hager, the Seret Visznitz Rebbe of Jerusalem, son in law of the Kretchnif Rebbe, was sick and admitted to the Shaarei Tzedek hospital. In the bed next to him was a sick elderly gentile (Arab?) man.

The Rebbetzin davened, upon seeing her husband in pain, that her husband is a tzaddik and goes every day to the Kotel to daven for klal yisrael - please let him be released from the hospital and pyut his illness on the non-Jew next to him who is sick and in pain anyway and does not go to the Kotel to daven like my husband does..

The son supposedly said that his father was released two days later. They asked about the non-Jew who had been his roommate only to discover that he got much worse and died the next day after the Rebbe's release.

That is wild.

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  1. Please do not publish items like this.

  2. According to this story, a Rebbetzin prayed for someone to die. I do not want to be in the same world as people who would find this story inspiring.

  3. I don't find it wild. I find it disgusting.

  4. Why such outrage in the comments here? She was praying for the betterment of everyone - for her husband's misery to end and for the Arab's misery to end. Even for Jews, there are Shittot that allow this (see Ran Nedarim 40a top of page, for example).

  5. What a Chillul Hashem this foul story is.

  6. I see that Kikar took it down. Good, that there was some realization there how awful the story is.

    No, she wasn't praying for the betterment of the gentile. Such a teretz isn't necessary.

    1. "No, she wasn't praying for the betterment of the gentile." - and you know this how?

      In the original story, IIRC, the Arab was writhing in pain. It's more likely than not that she prayed for both of them.

      I will agree with you, though, that the publication of such stories is unwise.

    2. That was not the tone of the story, which stated that he was sick and in pain anyway and didn't have this merit. Might as well transfer.

      She didn't pay meanwhile for the non jew's recovery.

    3. Meanwhile, chaviv adam shenivra betzelem.

      Ask yourself, honestly, had his hospital neighbor been a religious Jew, would this rebbetzin have prayed such? Would kikar have published such about this "miracle"? Would you have leapt to an apologetic defence of this action as being wholly positive?

    4. I thought about scenario before you asked it and I honestly don't see it as wrong - and consider it a חסד - in a case where the other person is in such a dire situation that they're practically asking for death themselves - which seemed to be the case here.

      As for the tone of the story, news articles don't always get these details correct, so I don't put too much stock in the tone of the story.

      There is more I could say, but would rather not in a public forum. Feel free to email me, if you wish.

  7. There is much wrong with this story. Frankly, I find it hard to be mekabel that it is accurate as written.

    The notion that someone's disease should be "transferred" to someone else borders on apikorsus, IMO. HKBH sends yissurim to each person as appropriate, and can heal each person as appropriate. The notion that HKBH needs to "transfer" the sickness to someone else, as opposed to healing the sicked love one (in whatever merit, prayer, charity, teshuvah, etc.) is frankly foreign to Jewish thought.

    1. You're entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts to claim that it is foreign to Jewish thought or apikorsut. There are many cases of this brought down in Sefarim. For example, see the second half of this article (written by someone who strongly recommends not doing it) where he brings down a list of sources for this idea:

      Sefer Hasidim (445)
      Berit Olam by the Hida
      Sha'ar Ephraim (introduction)
      Hatam Sofer (Y"D 339)
      A certain minhag done right before פסח
      Mishneh Halachot (vol. 12: 471)
      Rav Chaim Kanievsky in a question posed to him

      I personally have heard at least one other story where a transfer succeeded.


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