The Saint of Migdal Ohr

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Sometimes good things come from bad. This summer’s war, with a boost from Rabbi Yitzhak Grossman of Migdal Ha’emek, helped bring some secular and ortohdox Israelis together.

Last Thursday, a Torah scroll was dedicated in honor of the 8th Paratrooper Battalion at Grossman’s Migdal Ohr Yeshiva.

The unit’s 600 soldiers, most of them secular, had stayed in the yeshiva’s dormitories before leaving to fight in Lebanon in July and made it their home base during the three subsequent weeks when they went in and out of the battle zone.

Grossman, an Israel Prize laureate often referred to as the “disco rabbi” for his work reaching out to youths at clubs, blessed each fighter when they first set out, praying for their safe return. All 600 came back unharmed.…

Grossman saw to the soldiers’ needs, providing necessities like food and clothing and making sure recreational facilities like the swimming pool were at their disposal. He also helped the unit acquire additional equipment such as knee pads.

“It was amazing,” said Sharon Ohana, a member of the paratrooper unit. “He said, ‘Anything you need, just tell us.'”…

Ohana spoke about staying on the campus. “That was also amazing. We’re not used to [religious life] normally,” he said in a phone interview.

Although the yeshiva students were not there, the staff were, and the soldiers were invited to join them for prayers and in laying tefillin (phylacteries) if they wished. “You feel something inside you and it makes you feel different about their [the religious] world,” said Ohana. He said he and his comrades felt at home at Migdal Ohr and stressed that no one pressured them to participate in religious activities. [Consider this a note to Aish, Ohr Somayach, Heritage House, Chabad, etc.]

“To meet those people, for me and for other soldiers, was something very special and new since we don’t live that kind of life,” Ohana said. “That anyone in Israel would do that, say ‘come into my place and do what with it what you want…,’ personally, I will never forget it.”

It occurs to me that Rabbi Grossman is the closet thing to a bona fide saint Judaism has.

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5 Comments

Filed under Haredim, Israel, Jewish Leadership

5 responses to “The Saint of Migdal Ohr

  1. PishPosh

    This Rebbe just created 600 ambassadors of good will between religous and secular. Chazak.

  2. Joe

    by Rabbi Ben Tzion Grossman
    My niece, Chaya, is the daughter of Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, Rabbi of Migdal HaEmek and director of Migdal Ohr institutions in Israel. The events described below occurred immediately after Passover, 5745 (1985). Chaya was then sixteen-and-a-half years old.

    The school Chaya attended, Bait Chana in Safed, had organized a special trip, which included a tour of the graves of tzadikim in the Galilee.

    On the way to one of the graves, a friend of Chaya’s rubbed against a pointed tree branch. The point snapped back into Chaya’s eye. At that moment, Chaya’s eye blew up out of all proportion, and her face became twisted. She was immediately rushed to the hospital.

    After a preliminary examination in the intensive care unit, the doctors said that she had suffered a serious injury. They believed that her sight could never be restored.

    As soon as my brother and family heard the doctor’s prognosis, they took Chaya to the best eye specialists they could find. For the next six months they traveled with Chaya across the country visiting doctor after doctor, but nothing helped. All the doctors gave the same opinion: Chaya would never see out of that eye again.

    Some time later, my brother was in the United States on behalf of Migdal Ohr Institutions in Migdal HaEmek. His friends had heard about the tragedy, and they suggested that Rabbi Grossman bring his daughter to New York and visit a famous eye specialist in Manhattan. My brother asked the advice of the Rebbe. The Rebbe responded that it was a good idea.

    Rabbi Grossman called his family and asked that Chaya fly to the United States to be examined by the specialist. With her medical records in hand, Chaya set out. When Chaya arrived in New York she said that she wanted to ask for the Rebbe’s blessing before undergoing the crucial tests. She knew that if this specialist came to the same conclusions as the doctors in Israel had, there really was no hope.

    A few minutes before 10:00 a.m. Rabbi Grossman stood with Chaya at the entrance to “770,” waiting for the Rebbe to arrive. The Rebbe arrived at exactly 10:00 and gave some coins to the children standing there to give to charity. Rabbi Grossman bec ame very emotional and cried out, “Rebbe I need a blessing for the recovery of my daughter!”

    “Amen,” the Rebbe answered, adding, “May she merit Torah, chupah, and good deeds.” Then he stared closely at Chaya and said strongly, “A complete recovery!”

    At that time, Chaya wore special dark glasses which covered her bloated eye.

    After the Rebbe’s blessing, Chaya left “770” and her father went into the shul there. Suddenly, Chaya’s glasses broke. At the same time, she felt a change: The constant pain in her eye and the secretions which flowed from it were subsiding.

    At first Chaya thought that she was imagining things, or maybe her glasses breaking had somehow lightened the weight on her eyes. But as the seconds ticked by, Chaya began to see normally. The pain and secretions had stopped. When Rabbi Grossman returned from shul and saw his daughter, he cried out, “Dear G-d, there is nothing wrong with the eye! It looks completely normal!”

    It took my brother a few hours to calm down from the open miracle he had experienced. Only then Chaya reminded him that they had an appointment with the specialist. Perhaps there was no need to keep the appointment; she felt fine. At first, her fa ther agreed, but then he remembered that the Rebbe had said it was a good idea to see the doctor. They decided to follow the Rebbe’s advice to the letter and keep the appointment.

    Before examing Chaya, the doctor reviewed all of Chaya’s records and arrived at the same conclusion as the Israeli doctors; there was no chance of Chaya ever regaining her sight. When he began to examine Chaya’s eye, it was clear from the expressi on on his face that he was dumbfounded. “Just a minute!” he exclaimed. “I don’t understand what is going on here. According to the diagnosis of the Israeli doctors, the situation is hopeless, but I don’t see anything wrong with Chaya’s eye! It appear s to be totally normal.”

    My brother told the doctor what had happened that morning during their visit to the Rebbe.

    “Ah,” said the doctor. “The Lubavitcher Rebbe gave you his blessing? Why didn’t you tell me before? I know the Lubavitcher Rebbe quite well, and I can tell you many stories.”

    The doctor asked permission to perform a nuclear examination. The examination would reveal the eye’s history including any abnormality which had occurred over the last twenty years. “I am curious,” he said, “to see what the condition of the eye wa s before the Rebbe’s blessing.”

    After the examination, the doctor was in complete shock. “I see nothing. Her eye has returned to its pre-traumatic condition as if nothing ever happened. You can throw out all these papers. They have nothing to do with you any more.

    Today, thank G-d, Chaya is married and a mother. She teaches in her father’s school, and whenever she has the chance, she tells her students her own story, to strengthen their faith in the tzadik and leader of the generation.

  3. Of course, the actual testimony from the doctors and those invop;ved will be very different if questioned. I’ve never seen one of these miracle stories hold up under scrutiny.

  4. With rabbis like Yitzhak Grossman, shlita- Jewish unity is possible. May we all learn his ways and be inspired.

  5. Debbie sparrow

    I am trying to find information about the Children that Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman is caring for, Could you please help me.

    Debbie Sparrow

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