“He said you will definitely have two children, maybe even three.”
They’d waited so long.
After years of searing loneliness as older singles, they faced yet another painful challenge: infertility. The doctors were skeptical, painting a grim picture of long, expensive treatments with inconclusive results. Sadly, after hearing one dismal prognosis after another, the young / old couple began losing hope.
A dear friend encouraged them to try a different route and they came to Eretz Yisrael seeking a brachah from a tzaddik. His blessing, it seemed, would need twofold strength; to penetrate the Heavens and bring them a yeshuah and to reignite a spark of faith in their depleted, aching hearts.
They spoke no Hebrew or Yiddish and asked me to accompany them to the home of a saintly tzaddik I knew. Silence permeated the car as we made our way through Yerushalayim’s hallowed streets. As we climbed the stairs, I whispered a prayer that this fateful encounter be a positive, hopeful experience.
The tzaddik greeted us warmly and listened as I described their painful plight. He lowered his head, deep in thought, and I took a moment to glance at the husband and wife. I was sure I caught a small glimmer of hope in their eyes.
The tzaddik raised his head to speak. “Tzvai, efsher drei — two, maybe three,” he said.
It didn’t come across as a brachah, not even as a tefillah — more like an announcement, a declaration — and it took me a second to understand what he meant. The couple looked at me, waiting for me to translate. “He said you will definitely have two children, maybe even three.”
They looked at each other, and back at me, quizzical, disbelieving. Could it be?
As we left the tzaddik’s humble abode, I realized that he had already accomplished a miracle: Both the husband and wife, two dejected, despairing individuals, had a spring in their step. The flame of hope was alive.
Less than a year later, sitting at my computer, I received a two-word email from them. “Mazel Tov,” it said. There was an attachment, a picture of a beautiful baby boy.
Although I was ecstatic, I wondered if I should remind them of the tzaddik’s brachah that there would yet be another simchah. I wrote a response with my heartfelt wishes and my “expectation” to see the “full brachah come true.” I hesitated for a moment, questioning if this was the proper time to bring it up.
Right before I pressed “send,” another email entered my inbox. It was from them. “Sorry,” it read, “this was still uploading.”
It was another picture, of a precious little girl.
Rabbi Akiva Fox is a rebbi and a lecturer on Hidabroot. He lives in Ramat Eshkol, Jerusalem.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 887)
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