The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 17 July 2010 / 5 Av 5770

A Life Worth Living

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

When he learned that an elderly widow in his community had suffered a crippling paralysis, Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin, the Rav of Brisk and later Jerusalem, arranged for a woman to come each day to wash her. With the approach of a holiday he fulfilled the special mitzvah of bringing joy to a widow by visiting her to offer best wishes for the Yom Tov.

After profusely thanking him for his kindness she asked the saintly rabbi, who was famed for the effectiveness of his blessings, to bless her with long life. She saw from the strange look on his face that he was surprised that she did not request a blessing for a recovery from her condition.

"I accept the Heavenly decree regarding my paralysis," she explained, "and I am content to endure my suffering in this world rather than in the World to Come. But as long as I live and am able to say a blessing each day after that lady washes my body, I feel life is worth living as long as possible despite the pain."

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