The Skeptic Who Went to the Rabbi for a Blessing

The Skeptic Who Went to the Rabbi for a Blessing

This past Shabbat, my husband was out of town, and he was hosted by a lovely family, a couple with 2 sons ages 7 and 13. During the meal, the host mentioned that he has two other children, two daughters who are a decade older than his sons. And then he shared the following incredible story:

14 years ago my wife and I had 2 wonderful daughters, but for 10 years we hadn’t been able to have more children. We yearned to have more children and tried many different treatments but nothing had worked out as we had hoped. Around that time my father was the landlord of a restaurant owner who was a big chassid of Rabbi David Abuhatsera of Nahariya, the grandson of the Baba Sali.
Every week he would visit Rabbi Abuhatsera, and every week he would try to convince me to join me. He would say, “Why don’t you come with me to get a blessing for more children? What do you have to lose?”
The truth was, on principle, I had reservations about going to a rabbi to get a blessing. I didn’t think that a rabbi was the address for providing our personal needs. At that time I was even working on my master’s thesis, which was a criticism of the practice of going to rabbis for blessings and advice. You want to go to a rabbi? No problem! Go to a rabbi to get guidance on how to serve Hashem. But don’t go to a rabbi to fix your car or because you want more children! That’s what I felt. At the time.
But one day my father’s tenant came up to me and said “Look I’m driving right now to the Rabbi, back and forth. What do you care? Why not come with me?”
So, I thought, why not? It definitely won’t do any harm. And maybe it could even help? I wasn’t going to ask how. The restaurant owner just smiled.
So we drove up to Nahariya, and I was ushered into the Rabbi’s office. “Honored Rabbi,” I said, “I have two wonderful daughters, thank G-d, but for 10 years we haven’t had any other children. Please give us a blessing.”
And Rabbi Abuhatsera stated, simply: “You will have 2 more sons.”
And then I left. I assumed that the Rabbi had just been trying to console me. And I completely forgot about the blessing altogether. But a few months later my wife did, in fact, get pregnant.
My wife gave birth to a son, who just celebrated his bar mitzvah. And 5 years later, she gave birth to another son, who is turning 8 this week.
After our second son was born, my mother came up to me one day and said, “You remember? How the rabbi promised that you would have 2 sons?”
Believe it or not, I had completely forgotten, until my mother reminded me.
And my mother said, “I remember how you came back from the Rabbi looking so sullen. But I’ve remembered the rabbi’s promise, and kept it within my heart all these years.”
My wife and I still very much hope to have more children. But over the years I’ve gone back to the Rabbi on several occasions and asked for a blessing for more children. And I’ve reminded him of what happened after he blessed us 14 years ago.
But since then, he has only given me general blessings, for good news, but never again has he assured me that we would have more children.
But we still hope. And maybe now, that so many Jewish mothers will be hearing this story? Maybe they will bless us and our prayers will, once again, be answered?

4 comments

  1. Blessings to you for many more children from this Jewish mom!

    We, too, got a blessing from a rabbi for another child. At age 45, my Husband and I had Daniel Solomon!

  2. That was a beautiful story, and offers chizzuk and hope.
    Epilogue: after that he had to start his master’s thesis all over again!

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