ויאמינו בה’ ובמשה עבדו (בשלח יד:לא)
And they believed in Hashem and in His servant, Moshe
Believing in a Tzaddik
When Reb Aharon of Belz zt’’l and his brother the Bilgoray Rav zt’’l fled Hungary to Eretz Yisroel, their train made a few stops on the way, including Arad in Romania. Many Arad Yidden came to meet the “צדיק הדור – the tzaddik of the generation” and to receive his blessings.
Since it was a short stopover, only a few Yidden could hand over a kvittal – a personal request to Reb Aharon to receive his blessings. Among those was R’ Yizchak Singer hy’’d, who came on behalf of his brother R’ Yisroel Singer a’’h, who was lying in the hospital gravely ill.
R’ Yitzchak, who wasn’t a chassid, yet, still believed in the powers of a tzaddik and, with great awe, stood in line to submit his kvittel. After reading the kvittel, Reb Aharon wished his brother a Refuah Shelaima – a complete recovery.
R’ Yitzchak, ignorant of the customs of handing over a kvittel with a contribution, naively asked for a קבלה – receipt for his donation. Reb Aharon’s attendant was horrified by his request and started admonishing him, “The Rebbe doesn’t write receipts!” But R’ Yitzchak was adamant that he wanted a receipt. Reb Aharon heard the commotion and asked his attendant what was going on. The attendant answered, “The Yid wants a receipt because, by the Romanians, it’s acceptable to suspect others as thieves. And I’m trying to explain to him that it’s not acceptable by us to write receipts…”
Reb Aharon responded, “You should live and be well until 120, but if this is what the fuss is all about, why can’t we do a favor for a Yid and write a receipt, and I’ll sign it.”
The attendant brought a paper to Reb Aharon on which he wrote: “I, the undersigned, received money to daven for the name of the patient, and I wish upon him he should merit a רפואה שלימה און אריכת ימים ושנים – a complete recovery and long life.”
R’ Yitzchak ran with the receipt to the hospital and placed it under his brother, R’ Yisroel’s head. To everyone’s astonishment, R’ Yisroel recovered entirely quickly.
When the Nazis ym’’s invaded Romania, R’ Yisroel, his wife, and three daughters escaped to Eretz Yisroel. (Unfortunately, his brother R’ Yitzchak didn’t survive the war.) R’ Yisroel held onto his precious קבלה throughout his lifetime and merited living healthy years until almost one hundred years.
Like many stories of people who received ‘matbayos-special coins’ from Reb Aharon as a protection during the war, and after accomplishing its task, their matbayos suddenly vanished – so too, with R’ Yisroel. On Motzei Shabbos Shiva 1996, R’ Yisroel prepared himself for sleep. He decided to look at the קבלה, but it wasn’t in its regular place. “How could this be? I recently looked at it and returned it to its same safe place,” R’ Yisroel wondered and called his sons and grandchildren to help him find it. But to no avail. They couldn’t find the קבלה.
R’ Yisroel, a wise man, understood it was not a simple matter and realized that his end was near. He summoned all his family members and departed with each of them. With tears in his eyes, he said the Vidui prayer, recited Shema, and went to sleep. That night, he passed away in his sleep.