The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 21 May 2011 / 16 Iyyar 5771

Cleaning Away the Illness

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The Torah scholars in the Kollel in the Israeli town of Hod Hasharon were interrupted in their studies late one day some years ago by the loud sobbing of a woman who had entered their Beit Midrash with her daughter. The doctors, she told them, had diagnosed her daughter as suffering from an incurable illness and she was searching for some special merit to gain Heavenly mercy.

"Please allow my daughter and myself to clean your Beit Midrash," she begged. "I remember from my childhood in Morocco that this is considered a very big mitzvah. Perhaps if I clean G-d’s house He will clean away my daughter’s condition."

The scholars were glad to accommodate her. They told her that they were leaving in another half hour and that she was welcome to do the cleaning she desired. When they returned the next day they were amazed to see how thorough a job she and her daughter had done in beautifying this sacred area.

A couple of days later mother and daughter returned to the Kollel, this time with broad smiles in place of tears. Another examination had determined that the illness had mysteriously vanished and the doctors were curious as to what miracle treatment the girl had undergone. For the mother, however, there was no mystery.

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