By COLlive reporter
The wife of R’ Tzvika Gottesman, a frum husband and father living in Elad, a city in the Center District of Israel, shared the following story with R’ Shabtai Weintraub:
My husband traveled to New York for work in Elul 5780 and was meant to be back 2 days before Yom Kippur 5781.
We then learned that he wasn’t feeling well which turned out to be Covid-19. He was rushed to a hospital and we were told he was anesthetized and put on a ventilator. The situation was dire.
I was alone n Israel with our children, and a week after Sukkos I get a phone call that I should hurry to New York because his situation is very bleak, with no hope of recovery, the doctors said.
He had undergone resuscitation, they said. But with all the problems, plus with his high blood sugar, they explained to me that it is a matter of hours…
I didn’t have an entry visa to the United States and a few askanim got involved to allow me to travel to the US. I got onto a flight and was the only passenger on board. It was totally empty.
When I came to New York on Thursday, his doctors said that before Shabbos, they expected that “the story will be behind us,” Heaven forbid.
I decided that I would not give up in any way. My husband is indeed litvish, yet I am from a Sanzer chassidic home. On Sunday, I asked to be brought to the Ohel of the Rebbe in Queens. I went there to storm the heavens.
I davened at the Rebbe’s Ohel for 4 hours straight. While there, I told the Rebbe: “My husband is litvish and he still didn’t finish his mission (tikun) in the world as he never learned Tanya.”
There and there I made a promise in the name of my husband who was on his deathbed that if he survives, he will start learning the Alter Rebbe‘s Tanya. I also promised that I will be back to say thank you when there will be a positive change.
On Monday, a day after I was at the Ohel, the doctor told me that there is a possible change. Suddenly, my husband opened his eyes. At first, I thought these were his final moments… I then started talking to him and immediately understood that the davening accomplished something.
The next day, on Tuesday, I went back to the Ohel to say thank you. When I went back into the tent, there was a video playing of the Rebbe talking. In the video, the Rebbe said, “in the merit of the spirituality (ruchaniyus), the decrees will be revoked.” It gave me great hope that there will be miracles.
I don’t have to explain the situation in the New York hospitals during the times of COVID and I don’t want to get into the discussion of malpractice. All I know is that the fact that he was there and that he was alive was a miracle. But he was still sedated.
After a month, I returned to Israel, and a brother in law took my place to be at my husband’s side. Meanwhile, I joined a group of friends to daven at the kevarim of tzadikim in Ukraine, including the Baal Shem Tov.
On Sunday night, the eve of the 19th of Kislev, my husband woke up for the first time. He had been anesthetized and on the ventilator for 70 days, and he woke up on the day the Alter Rebbe, author of the Tanya, was released from a Russian prison. Chag hageula indeed!
My husband was discharged from the hospital on the 24th of Teves 5781, the yartzeit of the Alter Rebbe. He returned to Israel under medical supervision where he continued to recover.
He has since kept the promise that I made at the Rebbe’s Ohel and he learns Tanya in-depth and participates in the Tanya shiur in the Chabad community in Elad.