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Even I'm Worthy of Miracles

Even I'm Worthy of Miracles

A true story about the power of a blessing and modern day miracles.

by

As a returnee to Orthodox Judaism it was sometimes hard for me to dispel with the outsider-looking-in feeling. Everyone I knew seemed to be more pious, more of a believer, more at home with their level of observance than I did.

In one thing, though, I was confident. I chose to build my home in Israel in a spot with wonderful neighbors.

Across the street lived a renowned Torah scholar and leader of the Jewish people. Behind my house was a special, friendly and outgoing neighbor who had two sons -- born 12 years apart.

I made aliyah with four children after recovering from a serious illness. I was so thankful for all I had but I suppose it was no secret to anyone that the thing I was hoping for, dreaming of, was another child to complete our family.

My youngest daughter wanted to be a big sister so badly. My husband and I had always talked about having a large, boisterous gang of kids, but my illness had put these grandiose plans on the back shelf.

My new neighbor confirmed my feeling that we were living in miracle territory. She had asked a visiting rabbi for a blessing to have a child and he insisted that he would pray for her if she, in turn, would pray for his seemingly barren daughter. That meeting had taken place in my house many years before.

Well the power of prayer is such that both women had children on the same day. My neighbor now had two sons, in spite of her infertility problems, born twelve years apart.

I often heard the rabbi mention the idea that a child born to a barren woman is the greatest open proof of God's involvement with the world, and here was my neighbor living this very miracle. I loved her thankful, positive attitude. I thought it was wonderful that she prayed over her candles every Friday night for babies to be born to others. She had a long wish list of names.

After living in Israel for a number of years, we began to build a house. My youngest daughter was then ten years old. When my neighbor came in to have a look at the construction, she said, "This spot will be perfect for the crib." I was taken aback. Was this a blessing or gross insensitivity? A joke or a simple lack of attention to the facts?

I was getting older every year with no baby in sight. Finally, I fell ill again and was hospitalized. The doctors had a special meeting with me. "It is impossible for you to have another child," they explained.

As I had recuperated at home, I directed my prayers for others to have children and stopped thinking about my own desires. My neighbor provided me with a list of names.

Every Purim I went with the other women of the congregation to get a blessing from the rabbi. It was a special experience. I couldn't hear the words he uttered but that was unimportant. I was so happy to be there.

Another two years had passed and my husband was off visiting in the States. My routine gynecology check up went well. I was obviously going through early menopause but my doctor saw no abnormalities. I went for a routine ultrasound and explained to the technician that I was menopausal, and that the doctor just wanted to make sure all was well.

Imagine my reaction when the technician assured me that I was indeed going through menopause, but "not this year." There was a fully formed baby on the screen. I was almost six months pregnant and hadn't had even one bothersome symptom. For once in my life I was speechless.

I laughed the whole way home.

Yes, it was a high risk pregnancy which might have been terminated had it been discovered earlier. I had specialists attend to me, but the pregnancy was absolutely uneventful and the natural childbirth was swift and normal. We had barely had time to get used to the idea, and there she was -- our only Sabra -- born in Jerusalem on a gorgeous, sunny day.

We named her Emunah, which means "faith" in Hebrew.

She and her big sister were exactly 12 years apart.

"This is my bat mitzvah present Mommy!" said my daughter. "I prayed for her to come to us for so many years." She couldn't have been happier.

There I was, a simple, ordinary woman, standing right in my neighbor's extraordinary shoes. As a result of my experience, my inner landscape has changed. When I notice another Jew I bless them in my heart, I wish them well and hope wonderful things for them. If my friend is poor, I pray for them to find wealth as uncountable as the waves of the ocean.

Why not? Such is the power of a blessing.

Published: September 25, 2004


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Visitor Comments: 25

(25) Adara bat Sara, November 8, 2011 6:02 AM

Your story brought tears of joy to my eyes..

I too feel many times as if I am on the outside looking in... I am a late-in-life geris... too old to have a child, I am well past the age of menopause. I feel like I have missed out on being able to offer anything to the Jewish people who have graciously taken me in. All I can offer are my prayers, for protection, for babies, for shiduchim (so far, none of these have worked), and for healing. I miss having a large, noisy Jewish family like all the others I see in shul, and worry financially. Somehow, I always have food to eat and a roof over my head. Hashem always provides. I am so happy for you with your second daughter... what a blessing! Next year in Jerusalem for all of us, and may Hashem bless you richly for sharing all this. Adara

(24) Yehudi, April 16, 2009 10:44 PM

Shira Levin, May H' help you in your financial troubles.

If you still have them.

(23) Shira Levin, August 18, 2005 12:00 AM

A miracle in a land of miracles

As I read Miriam's story I placed my hand over my stomach. One of my sorrows
has been my empty womb. As this time of
my life at age 57 what I desire now is a
financial miracle. One that will get me out of debt.

(22) Mali, December 21, 2004 12:00 AM

Infertility and the Power of Prayer

Oh, the heartache of reading this story - what a brachah. I actually cried in my chair at work as I read of the chesed Hashem did for you, Baruch Hashem!!!!

I am almost 25 years old and have been married for 2 and a half years. I've been undergoing fertility treatments for 9 months, with no success so far. However, I believe in the power of Hashem!!! Those of us who are suffering the pain of infertility must remember that Hashem created the world, and that He makes the decisions. And if all other hope fails, remember: you're in good company - Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah, Hannah, the mother of Shimshon, and Zion herself.
I wish there were more resources for Jewish women in regard to infertility, techinot to say, online support group, but somehow this issue is not frequently discussed, even though I've read that 1 in 10 couples experiences difficulty in fertility.

Anyway, May Hashem bless all the Jewish women with strength and the zchut of raising a pious family. As it says in the song Eyshet Chayil, "Strength and Beauty are her rainment, she will laugh at the last day". It is said that Eyshet Chayil was written for Sarah Eemainu as a eulogy by Avraham. Strength and Beauty were indeed hers, and she also laughed at the end of her life - to learn that she was to become a mother.

(21) anonymous, November 3, 2004 12:00 AM

the huge miracles of prayer

i had stopped deavening for a while as i had no time in the morning before school. i also felt G-d was ignoring me in a way. nothing ever was going right anymore..i figured He had given up on me.and so it went for a few months. till 2 days ago i found i had this slot of time with nothing to do that morning. so i took out my siddur and prayed.nothing extravagantly long, or incredibly emotional. just plain simple. concentrated prayer. i finished, put away my siddur and left to school, thankful that i had finally thanked Hashem for allowing me to wake,, whole & healthy etc. Guess what happenend the next day?? the guy from the job i wanted called me back w/ hopeful news (i had just about given up) then the day after the higher ups that be told me i was being nominated for a prestigious award for my schoolwork..it was too much, i was ready to cry...and i silently thanked Hashem for tapping me on the shoulder & showing me he was still looking out for me--albeit quietly.


so when i read a story like this..it makes me want to ignore everything else in the morning and simply talk to G-d. tell him who's sick, and who could use help etc.
thanks for your story Miriam- it reinforces what i now know firsthand :)

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