THE ILL BOY
(This chapter is taken
from the book, Dor Deah, written by Yekutiel Kammelhar
Although the illustrious Zaddik, Rabbi Avraham David, was a disciple of the Maggid of Nadvorna in his youth, when he subsequently sat at the table of his father-in-law, our illustrious rabbi and teacher Zvi Hersh Kro, president of the court in Buchach, who was among the Mitnagdim, he left his Hasidism and went the path of his father-in-law who conducted himself like the gaonim before him. But it was the will of God that Rabbi Avraham David would also be one of the righteous men ( zaddikim ) of the generation and a worker of wonders.
Thus, it suddenly happened that his only son, his first born, fell ill with a life-threatening illness (heaven help him), which the physicians despaired of healing. At that time the holy rabbi, the glory of Israel, our teacher, rabbi Levi Yitzhak, of blessed memory, from Berdichev and author of “Kedushat Levi,” came to the city Rimalov 9 . The entire city was amazed at the coming of this Zaddik and worker of miracles to their land. The rabbi's wife told him that he should go with his only son to the Zaddik from Berdichev who would bless the child and cure him of his illness. Since the doing would take time away from his study of Torah, the rabbi did not want to hear this. So the rebbitzen went to the heads of the congregation and begged them that they entreat their rabbi to have compassion for her and for their only son and travel with him to Rimalov, to the Rav, the Zaddik from Berdichev.
They did so. After much urging, the rabbi was convinced. Together with the sick child and accompanied by several other members of the community, he went to Rimalov, which was not far from Yazlovits. When they arrived at the lodging place, it was time for the morning prayers and the illustrious righteous rabbi, our rabbi and teacher, Avraham David, prepared for prayer. On his way to the Beit Midrash he met up with one of the attendants of the righteous rabbi from Berdichev and asked him when the Zaddik from Berdichev would be praying and when he would be able to come to see him. He answered him that the Zaddik from Berdichev stayed awake all night and only now would be lying down to rest a bit, and when he awoke he would prepare himself for prayer which itself would last until after midday. Thereafter he would be able to come to see him. And so it was. After midday the attendant came to his lodging to summon him to the Zaddik from Berdichev.
When he came before him, the holy rabbi from Berdichev asked him why he had come and he told him that it certainly had been difficult to interrupt the business of Torah, but due to the great urging of significant members of his congregation, he had come to get a blessing for this sick son. The holy rabbi asked him: “And where is your sick son?” And he responded that the lad was here in the lodge. The holy rabbi from Berdichev told his attendant to bring the sick boy into his presence. When he was brought before him, the Zaddik from Berdichev placed his hands on his head and blessed him. He said to his father, the rabbi from Yazlovitz: “God, my he be blessed, would completely heal him and from your, this first born, you will be worthy to see sons and grandsons who are God-fearing and greatly learned in Torah…” (And so it was). When the holy rabbi finished his blessing, the illustrious rabbi, president of the court of Yazlovits, put forth his hand in greeting to make his departure and travel home, the holy rabbi said to him: “Why are you in such a hurry to leave, right when I have found a soul mate?” He greatly urged him to remain; and he acquiesced to the request.
The holy rabbi of Berdichev told his companions to return with the sick boy to their home and the rabbi, president of the holy court, would remain with him for a few days to enjoy Torah with him. He blessed them and they returned home with the sick boy in whom signs of recovery were immediately evident. Their rabbi remained with the holy rabbi of Berdichev until after Shabbat. Then he was forced to travel with the holy rabbi to the community of Skalat. From there the holy rabbi of Berdichev did not let him return to his house, but rather had him come with him to Berdichev where he stayed around six weeks and learned from the holy rabbi Barzin Eylein . Thereafter the holy rabbi bestowed upon him a parting blessing and he returned to his place, to the community of Yazlovits.