RAV BERLAND AND THE 33 YEAR OLD’S MIRACULOUS SHIDDUCH
There was a young man who’ll we’ll call ‘Ilan’, who’d been waiting a very long time for his marriage partner. After he turned to Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, he found his wife-to-be literally in the blink of an eye. Here’s his amazing story in his own words:
“Until the age of 33, I’d had great difficulties finding my marriage partner,” explained ‘Ilan’. “It seemed as though there was no chance of me ever settling down, and building a Jewish home, God forbid.
“Of course, I tried to get things to move anyway I could, and I spent a lot of money in the process. I spoke to a lot of experts and rabbis, in the hopes that some miracle would occur. But nothing helped, and I felt as though I really needed a miracle on the level of the ‘splitting of the sea’, mamash, in order to get married.
“One day, someone told me about the Gaon and Tzaddik, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, who I hadn’t really paid any attention to before. I knew that he was very successful in bringing people closer to Hashem, and that many people had seen miraculous salvations as a result of his blessings.
“So at that moment, I decided I have to meet the Rav, come what may. So that’s what I did,” continued ‘Ilan’. “I grabbed the bull by the horns, and I went to see the Rav. At that time it was difficult to get in to see the Rav, for a lot of different reasons. The outside door at that time was covered in a layer of foam, to muffle the sound of the people knocking who were trying to see him.
“After I’d been there for a while, someone from the community passed by and saw that I’d been waiting there for a long time. He told me that I had to register in advance, and then I had to wait until the time when the Rav would have the hours when he received the public. But he also told me that I should go out to the field and pray to the Creator of the world that He’d help me to get in to see the Rav. He told me that if I did that, for sure I’d succeed, and that the Rav himself would open the door for me.
THE RAV HIMSELF OPENED THE DOOR
“I took his advice, and that’s what I did,” continued ‘Ilan’. “I poured my heart out to Hashem that he would help me, and that I would merit to get in to see the Rav, and to get his blessing. After I’d finished, I went back to the Rav’s house. Behold, in front of my astonished eyes, the door opened and the Rav stood in the entrance.
“I started trembling and felt completely shocked by what had just happened, that he was actually standing in front of me and that my prayers had really been answered. The Rav, shlita, spoke to me in a very gentle way, and said: ‘Come back on Monday, and she’ll be waiting for you here, downstairs, and we’ll complete the shidduch, God willing.’
“I felt like I was in a dream,” continues ‘Ilan’. “I kissed the Rav’s hand, and then found myself walking home, and I still couldn’t really believe what had just happened. Waiting for the minutes, hours and days to pass, to see what was going to happen, was pretty stressful. That fateful Monday finally arrived, and I quickly made my way to the Rav’s house.
“I went up the stairs and the bodyguards stopped me dead in my tracks. They told me: ‘You can’t go in! You aren’t registered! There’s a process you have to go through!’ So I told them that the Rav had told me to come back at this time, and I started to kick up a fuss. After a quick discussion, one of the bodyguards felt sorry for me and went inside to clarify what was going on.
‘BEHOLD, THE GROOM HAS ARRIVED!’
“After a few minutes, he came back and told me that the Rav said I should enter immediately. I flew up the stairs, like El Al, and I entered, and I saw another man sitting there with the Rav, who was requesting advice and a blessing for a shidduch for his daughter, who’d reached marriageable age a long time since.
“As soon as I entered the room, the Rav immediately turned to him and said: ‘Behold, the groom has arrived!’ Then the Rav turned to me, and said: ‘She’s waiting downstairs. You can go down and meet her, and then come back to me with the details on Thursday.’
“So I went downstairs,” continues ‘Ilan’, “and I explained that I’d prayed a lot, to merit to be blessed with a suitable marriage partner, and everything that had happened to me from that moment when I first came to the Rav’s house until now, and everything that the Rav had said….
“Baruch Hashem, the matter progressed in a good way. On that Thursday, with the Rav’s advice, we celebrated our engagement.
NOT A DAY BEFORE, AND NOT A DAY AFTER
“During the engagement party, the situation took another twist: The Rav took a piece of paper and a pen, and told us the following: ‘I’m writing the date that the marriage needs to take place on. Not a day before, and not a day after!’ I took the piece of paper, and we immediately started looking for a wedding hall to hire on that specific date.
“We searched high and low, but all of the suitable halls in the area that we checked out weren’t available on that specific date. We didn’t have any choice, so we had to widen out the halls we were willing to consider – and still no luck! So finally, we had to go even further afield, and look for halls in Rishon LeZion, where we finally managed to find a wedding hall available on that date.
“The owner of the hall could see we were from Jerusalem, so he asked us why we coming so far out to find a wedding hall. I decided to tell him the whole story, and explained how the Rav had made our shidduch. The moment he understood what Rav we were actually talking about – Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita – he stood up and got very emotional, and started banging on the table. Everyone in the hall stopped what they were doing to look at him.
‘RAV BERLAND SAVED MY DAUGHTER’S LIFE!’
“He called everyone over to come and listen to him, and he said the following: “I have to tell you all a story that happened to me more than 10 years’ ago, when my daughter slipped on the tiled floor of our kitchen and fell on her head. She was in a critical situation and the best doctors in the hospital despaired of doing anything for her. They were convinced that she’d never be a fully-functioning person again.
‘I was so distressed, I turned to Rav Berland, shlita. The Rav told me to make a pidyon nefesh, and then she would have a complete recovery, with Hashem’s help. I immediately did what he said, and he told me: ‘Come back in a week, and tell me how she’s doing.’ What can I say?’ continued the owner of the wedding hall.
“Suddenly, he started crying, before continuing his story: ‘In the time it took me to come back from the house of the Rav, shlita, they’d already unhooked my daughter from the life-support… She had started to recover under the eyes of the doctors, who looked on in disbelief and kept saying how this was a medical miracle that defied explanation.
“‘After a week, I went and updated the Rav about the improvement in her condition, and two months after that, I took my daughter with me to visit the Rav, who was now able to walk again.’ The hall owner then turned to us and said: ‘Listen. The Rav said to me: ‘You own a wedding hall, don’t you?’ When I said yes, he said to me: ‘In ten years’ time, I’m going to send a couple to you, who’ll want to get married in your hall.’ He then asked me to cover all the costs of that wedding.
“‘I’m obligated to the Rav,’ continued the owner of the wedding hall. ‘He saved what is most dear to me, in all my life. Now, I have to do what he requested of me. The circle is now complete. You are the couple who’s been sent to me now.’”
‘Ilan’ concludes his amazing story: “The owner of the hall paid for all the wedding expenses, and by doing so paid off his obligation to the Rav. He told me: ‘I was so happy that I promised to do this, and that I’m now able to fulfill it!’”
Translated from the ‘Divrei Nachal Novea’ newsletter, Number 7.