Love of the Land

For the week ending 13 November 2004 / 29 Heshvan 5765

The Answered Prayers

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

When a famine threatened the very survival of the Jews in Old Jerusalem a midnight prayer meeting at the Western Wall was organized by Rabbi Yeshaya Bardaky, leader of the citys Perushim community. As they returned from offering fervent prayers for Heavenly salvation the participants came across an Arab-led caravan of mules laden with sacks of wheat. When they inquired as to how much it would cost them to buy this lifesaving grain the caravan leader only responded by asking Where is Bardaky?

Upon meeting this distinguished Jewish leader the Arab offered to sell him the entire cargo of wheat which he had brought from so far away. When Rabbi Bardaky replied that he was willing to do so but lacked the cash, the Arab said he was willing to accept a note since the rabbi was known to be trustworthy. An IOU was duly written and the Arab hurried off with his mules.

Weeks passed but the Arab never returned to collect payment. Furthermore, an investigation revealed that the city gates had been closed the night of the prayer vigil and no one had heard of a mule train entering that day.

The only conclusion was that the prayers were answered and the wheat was sent by Heaven.

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