Rebbe’s Handshake Revives Lifeless Patient

Rebbe’s Handshake Revives Lifeless Patient

A few days before Chanukah 17-year-old Satmar Chassid Yanky Stein was nearly killed in a freak accident in Brooklyn. For the first 24 hours following the accident, Yanky lay lifeless, and twice he nearly died. But everything turned around when Yanky received a visit from his Rebbe.
Here is how Mishpacha Magazine‘s Eytan Kobre described the medical miracle that took place in his article “The Other Day of Salvation”:

“When the call came in, a team of some 30 doctors and nurses was assembled and waiting in the trauma slot, already outfitted in gowns and gloves, ready to do their assigned tasks. But when Yanky finally arrived, people were so affected by the severity of his injuries that bedlam broke loose, and the Hatzolah medics kept redirecting the doctors as to what the problems were, until he was finally stabilized with blood product and insertion of multiple lines…

The next day, Dr. Hershman [the Orthodox resident overseeing Yanky’s care] received a call…Chaplain Yisroel Rosman had a message to deliver: the Satmar Rebbe wanted to come to visit at 7 PM that evening.

Shortly before 7 o’clock, Dr. Hershman turned off the sedation lines in order to ascertain whether a visit from the Rebbe, to whom Yanky felt very close, could somehow stimulate a response in the lifeless young man. A female colleague of Dr. Hershman, whom he describes as a very good physician but a completely secular Jewess, was more than skeptical about what the visit could possibly achieve. Meanwhile, the people at Yanky’s bedside kept telling him, “Der Rebbe kimt’ (the Rebbe is coming,)” but there was no response.

The Rebbe arrived with an entourage of gabbaim, and together with family members and other visitors, there were probably 20 to 30 people in the room. The Rebbe put one hand on Yanky’s head and gave an inaudible brachah—and Yanky opened his eyes. Next, the Rebbe said, “Yanky, ich bin duh, gib mir shulem alaychem” (Yanky, I’m here, give me a Shalom Alechem.) It was hard to tell if the Rebbe had taken his hand or if Yanky had actually raised it on his own, but the Rebbe said, “Her hut mir gegeben shulem” (he gave me a Shalom). Just one hour earlier, a similar request from the doctor for Yanky to shake his hand had gone unanswered.

Then the Rebbe offered his left hand, saying, “Yanky, kvetch mir di hant” (Yanky, squeeze my hand). The Rebbe then said, “Ehr kvetch mein hant” (he squeezed my hand).

I thought the Rebbe just wanted to be mechazek me, says Reb Baruch [Yanky’s father]. “But Dr. Hershman was right next to me, and I heard him say, “Wait a second, I must get another doctor.” Dr. Hershman says he ran out of the room to locate his dubious colleague. Finding her conversing with another doctor, he said, “You’ve got to come with me to Yanky’s room.”

“Let me guess,” she countered in a bemused tone, “he moved.” Dr. Hershman replied, “Actually, he’s not only moving, his eyes are open and he’s following commands.” The two doctors entered the room, and Dr. Hershman asked the Rebbe: “Please do it again.” So the Rebbe said, “Yanky, geb mir shulem.” Yanky opened his eyes and did as the Rebbe asked.

“For the first time in 24 hours,” recalls Reb Boruch, “he was responding, picking up his hand…I just started to cry. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Here, the whole time he wasn’t responding, they’re telling me they don’t know if there’s brain damage, who knows what’s happening, and he just picked up his hand for the Rebbe.” My son says he doesn’t remember anything from the accident. The first thing he remembers is the Rebbe saying to him, “Kvetch mir hant,” and he was wondering, “What does the Rebbe want from me?'” This sudden, stunning turn of events sparked, of course, a flurry of activity as the medical team began conferring on what direction Yanky’s care would now take.”…

Yanky walked out of the hospital on his own power, eight days after entering its doors on that terrible Sunday night on a Code Blue Emergency Call. Today, just a month later, he has resumed his regular schedule, savoring the opportunity to be, once again, just another bochur in yeshiva. The only hint that he was in a critical accident, fighting what was considered a lost fight for life, is his jaw—still wired with a metal plate.

What an incredible story! Miracles in our days…

Image courtesy of user thisisbossi


  1. how can we tell the date of this article? This is the first time I have seen it but I know it is from the archives.

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