Tamar’s Miraculous 7th Blessing

Tamar’s Miraculous 7th Blessing

Last week, my husband read the ketubah at the wedding of his student Tamar, and this past Friday night we hosted sheva brachot for Tamar and her new husband Yossi Naveh. During the dinner, I was blown away by the story she shared with us about her 90-year-old grandfather, Yosef Hartman.
Tamar’s Saba (grandfather) was born in 1930 in a small village in Hungary. As a teenager, he was sent to Auschwitz where his mother and younger twin brothers were murdered upon arrival, HY”D.
After the war, Saba Yosef made aliya to Israel in 1947 with his 3 surviving siblings. During the War of Independence, at the age of 18, he served in the Palmach. His brother, Leiby, had survived Hitler only to fall in combat while fighting for the establishment of the Jewish state.
Saba Yosef and his 2 remaining siblings wanted to get away from violence after all they had gone through, and they moved to Brasil where Saba Yosef was very involved in the Jewish community.
Tamar’s grandparents made aliyah around the time she was born. But by that time all three of their children, including Tamar’s mother, had married and were living in New York.
Saba Yosef’s incredible life story had a major impact on Tamar as a teenager growing up in New Rochelle, NY. She was especially moved after attending the annual memorial ceremony honoring her grandfather’s brother among all the fallen Golani soldiers. 4 years ago, Tamar decided to come to Israel and join the IDF as a lone soldier, serving as an automatic weapons instructor.
Tamar told us that joining the IDF was the best decision she ever made, for many reasons, among them being that she met Yossi there! Yossi was also a lone soldier, from St. Louis.

Since Tamar had been 12 years old, her grandfather would ask her, only half in jest, “So, nu, Tamar’ele, when are you finally getting married?” So when Yossi and Tamar got engaged, he was the first person they called. Tamar asked him if he would honor them by reciting the 7th blessing under her chuppah. Saba Yosef was beside himself with joy!.
And then, disaster struck.
Saba Yosef had to undergo emergency heart surgery right before Shavuot, just 6 days before Tamar and Yossi’s wedding. Recovering from heart surgery isn’t easy for anyone, especially for a 90-year-old.
The doctors said it would be impossible for Saba Yosef, in his weakened condition, to attend the wedding. He hadn’t even opened his eyes or said a word since his surgery.
Tamar was so heartbroken that her Saba, who had played such an instrumental role in bringing her to that day–inspiring her to make aliya and join the IDF, not to mention waiting eagerly for a decade for her to get married (as an old lady of 22;) wouldn’t be at her wedding!
The morning of the wedding this past Tuesday, Tamar woke up in tears, so devastated that her Saba wouldn’t be at the wedding. But she decided to make one last try.
She called her grandmother who was sitting next to her Saba’s hospital bed and asked her to put the phone next to her Saba’s ear. And Tamar said to him, “Saba, it’s Tamar, I’m getting married today! Will you please, please come?”
And Saba Yosef, for the first time since the surgery 6 days before, opened his eyes and mouth and spoke! And he said, “Yes, of course I’ll be there!”

B”H, Tamar’s prayers and the prayers of hundreds of others who had been praying for my Saba Yosef’s recovery had been answered. Hashem made an incredible miracle! Saba Yosef was able to attend the wedding and recite the 7th blessing, as they’d planned, with a lilting Hungarian melody, and his thick Yiddish accent, he sang:
ברוך אתה ה’, משמח החתן עם הכלה
“Blessed are You Hashem, who brings joy to the groom and the bride.”
And with tears in their eyes, everyone answered, “Amen!”

6 comments

  1. Wow BH such an open miracle!

  2. How fortunate they are that he managed to come to the wedding! An open miracle. How is Saba now?

  3. Wow! Mazel tov and refuah shelema

  4. Beautiful! So special and a nes!

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