The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 11 June 2011 / 8 Sivan 5771

The Prayer Pact

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"Years have passed since we were married and we still have not been blessed with a child."

This was the tearful lament that the head of a yeshiva in Jerusalem heard from a former student of his now living in the north of Israel.

"I have a suggestion for you, " the Rosh Hayeshiva replied. "I heard a story about someone in your same predicament who went to consult a rabbi in his community. The rabbi told him that he has a son with the same problem, and suggested that he make an arrangement with his son that each of them pray for the other to be blessed with children. This fellow understood that this suggestion was based on the Talmudic dictum that one who prays for another and is in need of the very same Heavenly response is answered even before the one he prays for is answered. He therefore rushed to the home of the rabbi’s son and came out of it in a short time with an agreement of mutual prayer. A year later both of them were blessed with children."

"There is another childless former student of our yeshiva in your town," continued the Rosh Hayeshiva, "and I suggest that you make such an arrangement with him."

Sure enough, hardly a year went by and both couples celebrated the long-awaited birth of a child.

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