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Jul 24, 2012

2 Cases Of Adding Years To Rav Elyashiv's Life

I was just reminded of the following incident that happened less than 6 months ago.

An avreich, worried about the failing health of Rav Elyashiv, donated a year of his life to Rav Elyashiv. He also hoped that others would join suit and Rav Elyashiv would live to close to 1000 years due to the donations. And then everybody would donate another year to the next rav to get sick. etc etc etc

The fellow donated a year, but Rav Elyashiv only continued to live another 5+ months. Not a very effective donation. He lost a year of his own but only 5 months were gained.

I was reminded of this because of the Bechadrei report on the nichum aveilim visit by Minister Silvan Shalom to the Elyashiv house.

When Shalom walked into the house, one of the sons of Rav Elyashiv introduced him as the person who extended Rav Elyashiv's life by 9 years. He went on to explain that in 2004 Rav Elyashiv had been very ill and a specialist needed to be flown in from the USA, along with obtaining and clearing certain special medical equipment that could not be obtained privately for technical reasons. Silvan Shalom, in his capacity at the time as Foreign Minister, had been approached, and quickly made all the arrangements and was able to get whatever was necessary for the treatment.

When Rav Elyashiv recuperated from his illness, he sent a message to Silvan Shalom that he'd like to see him. When Shalom came down to Hanan St. for the visit, Rav Elyashiv thanked him profusely for having helped.

Silvan Shalom brought in a doctor and medical equipment and added 9 years to Rav Elyashiv's life, while the avreich donated a year and only got 5 months out of it... Which was more effective?

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  1. Or you could say that all the time donated ,(which for all we know might total 45 years)is equal to 5 months of Rav Elyashiv's life.

  2. Nah, it wasn't Shalom or the doctors or the equipment, it was all the avreichim saying tehillim for him!

  3. Sounds normal to me... you donate a year, but have to subtract heavnly tax, transaction costs, a small cut for the angel who found the deal etc...at the end you are left with 5 months.

  4. We need to know the right ratio to calculate accurately.Which would vary depending on the person donating.It might be 10 years to one month for Rav Elyashiv,lol.

  5. This reminds me of my post Should we go to the best doctor?

    R' Elyashiv needed heart surgery so they flew in the top cardiac/blood vessel surgeon from Cleveland (a religious Catholic) to do the surgery.

    The question I would like to ask is why was that necessary? The prevalent (only?) Charedi hashkafa today is that not even a leaf falls without it being a גזירה מו שמים and that השתדלות has no effect, it is just an illusion. השתדלות is just so that we avoid ניסים גלוים (see מכתב מאליהו, חזון איש אמונה ובטחון and others). If so, shouldn't bringing the top surgeon be too much השתדלות and a lack of בטחון? After all, Hashem is doing the healing not the surgeon and once we have done our השתדלות, going to the doctor and having the surgery, why should it matter whether the surgeon is the best in the world or simply Joe surgeon who is competent? As long as we do our השתדלות to avoid requiring a נס, the rest is a גזירה מן השמים. If the גזירה is that the surgery will be successful, then it will be successful even if done by the average surgeon, and if the גזירה is that it won't be successful then it won't help that you have the best surgeon.

  6. Given that Rav Elyashiv never asked to have brought to him the avreich who "donated" a year, it would seem that Rav Elyashiv thought the idea nonsense. (Not only would he not gain a year from it, but the avreich would not lose one.)

  7. Or perhaps Rav Elyashiv didn't want to encourage the avreich because he disagreed hashkafically with that method.


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