וירא בסבלותם (שמות ב:יא)
And he saw their suffering…
It was in the year 1956, when all teenage boys were forcefully drafted into the Israeli army. Many bochurim (teenage boys) were devout scholars and wished to remain learning Torah versus serving duty. A renowned psychiatrist issued illegal prescriptions to many, stating that they weren’t mentally fit to serve, thus saving many bochurim and keeping them in the Torah confines.
When the police learned of the psychiatrist’s act, they arrested him along with the list of ‘patients’ whom he had written exempt prescriptions. One of the boys who received a summons to appear in military court was Reb Yisroel Lederman z’’l, the son of R’ Levi Yitzchak Lederman z’’l.
The distraught father, a Modzitz Chassid who settled in the “Sharei Chesed” area in Yerushalayim after the war, traveled to Tel Aviv to seek Reb Aharon of Belz zt’’l blessings. When he arrived, the Rebbe’s gabbaim (assistants) refused to allow him into the rebbe’s chambers, since it Reb Aharon was very weak. (It was a few months prior to the Rebbe’s petirah (death)).
Reb Levi Yitzchak wouldn’t take no as an answer and as soon as he noticed the gabbai wasn’t looking, he sneaked into Reb Aharon’s room. When Reb Aharon noticed him, he asked, “Who are you and how can I help you?”
Reb Levi Yitzchak replied “I’m Esther Hamalka – Queen Esther”. Reb Aharon smiled at the response and asked what he means to imply. “I did what Esther did, ובכן אבוא אל המלך אשר לא כדת – she visited the king’s chambers without permission!”
Reb Aharon was impressed with the witty response, and asked what he needs. Reb Levi Yitzchak presented the summons, crying over his sons fate. Reb Aharon consoled him, saying, “the whole incident will dissolve like salt in water.”
Two weeks later the Lederman family received a letter from the court stating that their son’s court date was canceled.
But alas, two months later they received another summons with a new court date. During this time, Reb Aharon of Belz was niftar. Thus, Reb Levi Yitzchak didn’t delay, and traveled to Har Hamanuchas to the Tzion of Reb Aharon and cried over the kever (monument), “Rebbe, Esther Hamalka is here again!” He pleaded by Reb Aharon, that just like the first summons was nullified, so too should the second one be. When he finished praying, he placed the summons on the grave – having complete faith that Reb Aharon will beseech on his son’s behalf.
A few days letter they received another letter stating that the court date is canceled and his son, Reb Yitzchak continued learning, become a great talmid chacham.