#328 (s5764-19/ 4 Shevat)
"Baba Sali was happy to see me and asked about the changes in my life."
On the anniversary of his death, one year, a seudat hilula was held in honor of Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzira ("Baba Sali") in one of the synagogues of Herzliya. The noted rabbi Ezra Adess was asked to speak to the large assembly gathered there.
To punctuate his address, Rabbi Adess wished to tell a fascinating story about Baba Sali and decided to tell of the miracle of the paralyzed soldier (see , posted and mailed to the List two years ago).
Not everyone knew the story, but all were deeply impressed by it. There were some among the audience who doubted its veracity, as many are wont to do when they hear stories of outright miracles performed by select holy Jews.
At the end of the meal, a man approached Rabbi Adess. Introducing himself by name, he said, "I am the hero of your story! I am the very man who was cured by Baba Sali."
Rabbi Adess was thrilled to meet the famous young man in person, who corroborated every detail of the story as Rabbi Adess had told it earlier that evening.
"I would like to tell you the sequel to the story," the young man said. "It should interest you as well. After I realized that I was completely cured and could walk again, I knew that I must keep my promise to the rabbi. I changed my way of life and became religiously observant, strictly observant.
"Over a year passed after my recovery when I decided that the time had come for me to establish my own home. I traveled again to Baba Sali to receive his blessing in finding the proper mate.
"And what brings you here today?' he asked me.
"I told him that I was contemplating marriage and sought his blessing in finding a wife.
"He looked intently at me for a while, then said, 'Go to Petach Tikva.'
"I didn't understand his answer. But since the wording was clear, I knew that I must do what he said without asking questions, for everything he said was truly significant.
"It took a few days before I found the opportunity to go to Petach Tikva. I set out after work and, arriving there towards evening, went in search of a synagogue for mincha. I encountered a Yemenite Jew who saw my disoriented look and asked me what I was looking for.
I told him that I wished directions to the nearest shul, he offered to
take me, since he was headed there anyway. We walked together and talked. He asked
me what had brought me to Petach Tikva.
"Subsequently, he took me home and introduced me to his daughter who is today my wife. Now you can understand the full intent of Baba Sali's words!"
Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and editor of
Ascent Quarterly and the AscentOfSafed.com and KabbalaOnline.org websites. He
has hundreds of published stories to his credit.
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