By Yoel Brill
Some 5 years ago, while coordinating the annual Flatbush BBQ in support of the Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS), I decided to go to the Rebbe’s Ohel to daven that the event should be successful.
In that year we expanded the event to include the good residents of Crown Heights, being that it is in close proximity to the event and since we have the merit of assisting cancer patients from there.
At the Ohel, I met a person who was curious what I was doing at this late hour. After explaining to him what we do and how important this event is to our ability to assist others, he wrote a generous check towards the event.
I cannot describe how amazed I was of how quick my tefillos where answered and thus the tradition began.
Every year, on the night before the BBQ event, I go to the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Cambria Heights, Queens, and daven. And every year, without fail, I witnessed the koach and blessings of the Rebbe and the power of tefilah.
This year, as RCCS prepared for the 12th Annual Flatbush BBQ to be held tonight, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, I was debating whether to go to the Ohel.
Around 6 months ago I founded an organization called “A Hope to Heal,” with the aim to assist the ill who are not cancer patients yet still need help and guidance (cancer patients are assisted by RCCS).
My new responsibilities got so overwhelming that I left RCCS to fully focus on A Hope to Heal, following the instruction of gedolei yisroel and davening many times at the Rebbe’s Ohel.
I ended up decided to go to the Ohel last night, Monday, as I was being honored at the RCCS BBQ and very much want the event to succeed. Also on my mind was A Hope to Heal’s inaugural ladies luncheon upstate next Wednesday, which include the women of Crown Heights. This would be a perfect time to daven for both.
Standing at the Ohel, I read my kvitel (or “pan” as its called in Lubavitch). I first davened for the safety of our brother and sisters in Eretz Yisroel and then I davened for the success of the RCCS BBQ tonight in Flatbush and for the “Eat Well Live Well” women’s lunch next Wednesday in the Raleigh Hotel.
After washing my hands and filling my cup of tea (that too, is a tradition…), I noticed a man standing there for a while. It was clear that he’s burdened by something and was there to daven for something that must have been very personal and very serious.
Without hesitation I approached him and asked of his well-being. He replied, “all is well.” But his eyes told me otherwise.
I did not want to intrude on his privacy so I discreetly took out my organization card and left it near his car. Driving home, I couldn’t stop thinking about this man, what was troubling him and how could we help him.
That curiosity lasted until this morning, Tuesday, when I was awakened by a call.
“I’m not sure if this is the right number but are you ‘A Hope to Heal’?” the man on the other line asked.
It was the same man from last night. He has a family health issue and due to the severity of the case, I can’t go into detail. But I am certain that it was the koach of tefilla and of this holy place that put the two of us together so he can be helped.
May we always be able to share good news and may all Jewish people be safe and healthy. Amen!