Weekly Chasidic Story #1041 (s5778-10/ 2 Kislev 5778)

Connecting the Dots

She had been told that her only hope was a bone marrow transplant, for which the best chance is a close blood relative, but Mrs. Levy had none alive.

Connection: Weekly Reading of Vayetzei: "you are my bone and flesh" (Gen. 29:14")

Connecting the Dots

South African emigration was at its peak and the Levy family decided to leave as well, to make a fresh start in Israel. Mr. and Mrs. Levy, and their only child, Batya, rented a townhouse in a heavily South African community in Israel, with its own community shul (synagogue).

Batya had just graduated high school so the timing for their move provided the opportunity for an exciting new beginning for her as well. Their joy was short lived when it was discovered that the headaches Batya was complaining about were due to a serious inoperable brain tumor. Within a short time she was gone, an only child, just 18 years old.

Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Levy was diagnosed with leukemia. Still devastated from Batya's death, the situation seemed hopeless. Rabbi Levy, the rabbi serving the South African community in Israel, knew of my friend Esther and her work with energy healing, and he asked her if she would be willing to see Mrs. Levy. Of course, she agreed.

Mrs. Levy had been told that her only hope was a bone marrow transplant, but so far no match had been found. The best chance is a close blood relative, but Mrs. Levy had none alive.

After working with her, Esther took her leave. She called Rabbi Levy and said that she felt that somehow, somewhere, there was a door remaining to be opened, but she didn't know what.

As soon as she hung up from Rabbi Levy, her cell phone rang. It was a friend who was in labor wanting to know if Esther could come be with her. Luckily, the birthing center was right near the hospital where Esther had just visited Mrs. Levy.

Esther had attended many births in this center, and so she was very friendly with the people who worked there. As she walked toward the nurses' station, she suddenly stopped. She saw a young pregnant woman, who said her name was Sara, checking in. Esther was taken aback by Sara's strong resemblance to Mrs. Levy.

It crossed Esther's mind that perhaps this young woman might be a suitable bone marrow match and that maybe it was worth exploring after she finished helping her friend give birth.

The birth went smoothly, thank G-d. Afterwards, Esther asked about Sara. She was told that the couple had recently moved to Israel from South Africa. Esther asked the nurse to find out if they would mind if she approached Sara after the birth, about being a possible bone marrow donor for someone. The nurse came back saying they would not mind at all.

A few hours later, Sara gave birth to a baby girl. Soon after, Esther introduced herself to Sara and her husband and explained the bone marrow donation procedure. The young woman agreed to have the blood test, although she had just given birth!

The blood test was administered. Now late at night, on Esther's way home at last after a long day, her cell phone rang again. This time it was the blood technician who was excited to report a perfect match! "A match like this is usually only an immediate blood relative," he said in wonderment. Elated, Esther immediately called Mr. Levy with the great news.

That very night, procedures were begun for the transplant to take place.

A little while later, Sara called Esther to invite her to her daughter's baby naming. It would take place on Thursday morning in the South African community shul.

During the conversation, Esther discovered that Sara had recently lost both her parents in a road accident in South Africa, and this was one of the main reasons they had left. She was an only child and the memories in South Africa were too much for her. So they had moved to Israel. New country, new life, and now a new baby. Later that day, Esther met Mr. Levy and told him about the baby naming.

Thursday morning both Esther and Mr. Levy went to the baby naming. They were both taken aback when the baby's name was announced. Batya! As Mr. Levy turned pale from the shock of hearing the baby's name, Sara stood up to explain to the assembled guests why they had named her that.

"I was adopted," said Sara. "I have always known it. I have always felt gratitude to my birth mother for giving me up for adoption instead of ending the pregnancy. My adoptive mother, who could not conceive a child, often told me that I was a gift from G-d. Now that I have my own child, I realize that all children are gifts from G-d. So we named our daughter Batya, "daughter of G-d." May G-d help us raise her to serve Him with all her heart."

The transplant was a complete success. Now the question begged to be answered. Who was this perfect match?

Mrs. Levy knew the answer.

When she was a young girl of 16, before she was Torah observant, she had become pregnant. Over her parents' objections who urged her to abort, she had wanted to have the baby and give it up for adoption to a Jewish couple.

During the months of the pregnancy, an emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe arrived in town. He was looking for students to come to his new seminary for girls with little Torah background. When he heard about the situation, he suggested that she -the future Mrs. Levy -- study at the seminary while carrying her baby to term there. He also knew of a couple who desperately wanted to adopt a child.

Sara was this child, none other than Mrs. Levy's own first child whom she had never seen before, as she had been given up for adaption at birth. Now this daughter had returned the gift of life to her own mother, by providing her perfectly matching bone marrow.

Mother and daughter were now reunited and the two families became very close. Sometimes Sara would recall how she had worried that her baby would grow up without the love of grandparents, and sometimes Mrs. Levy would recall how she was sure that she would never experience the joy of holding a grandchild.


Source: Reprinted with permission from the Neshei Chabad Newsletter as posted on//lchaimweekly.org #916. The last three paragraphs were subsequently edited for clarity by Yerachmiel Tilles for //AscentOfSafed.com, in response to eighteen subscriber requests.

Connection: Weekly Reading of Vayetzei: "you are my bone and flesh" (Gen. 29:14")

* Author's explanation of the title:
I called this story "Connecting the Dots" because it is a perfect example of how, though mostly we are unable to see the whole picture, sometimes G-d shows us that He is behind every detail. Nothing proves G-d's love for each of us like Divine Providence.

Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

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