Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Go to the Wise Man

Unfortunately, most are familiar with the distress caused by illness hitting a member of the family. One man whose son suddenly became very sick was beside himself since the doctors said that the child’s condition was ominous. After doing what he could at the hospital, the father rushed to his rebbi, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, for advice and to plead with him to daven for the helpless child. Rav Shlomo Zalman encouraged the father and heaped blessings upon his head. The moment he left, the rav took a sefer Tehillim off the shelf and began to daven in earnest.
The next day the father once again approached Rav Shlomo Zalman but this time he looked much happier. “Boruch Hashem, the doctors say there has been a marked improvement and I just wanted to thank you for davening. I came to tell you since I am sure it was your prayers that made all the difference and caused this remarkable improvement.”
Rav Shlomo Zalman smiled back at the happy father and remarked, “Our sages tell us that if someone has a sick person among the people of his household, he should go to the ‘chochom’ and ask that he beseech Hashem to have mercy on the sufferer.
“The language here seems strange. Why not direct someone to go to a tzaddik? Why a chochom? I once heard a tongue-in-cheek answer from Rav Eliyahu Kletzkin from Lublin. He explained that if a person goes to a tzaddik and the sick man recovers, the tzaddik could mistakenly think he is a baal mofes. For this reason it adjures one to go to a chocham. A wise man understands that this from Hashem and will not think of himself as a baal mofes!”

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