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Section: Stories   Category: Story Corner
Rav Elyashiv & The Heartbroken Kohen

A couple that had been married for fifteen years without being blessed by children, decided to divorce, despite their harmonious marriage. Shortly after the get was completed, the woman discovered she was pregnant. The joyous news had a very sad side; the husband was a Kohen and was forbidden to remarry his former wife. Their pain and heartbreak knew no bounds.

The husband poured out his pain to Rav Chaim Kanievesky, who told him that he couldn't see any way that he could remarry his former wife, but he suggested that he should consult with his father in-law, Hagaon, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

The man went to R' Elyashiv and repeated his tale of woe. R' Elyashiv told him with great pain that it's definitely forbidden for a kohain to remarry his former wife. "The only thing I can tell you is that you should go to the Kosel Hamaravi, and daven to Hashem that he should save you."

The kohain regarded R' Elyashiv's words as a direct instruction, and immediately upon leaving R' Elyashiv's house, went straight to the Kosel. When he reached the Kosel, he approached the stones and poured out his heart without restraint. After davening for a lengthy period of time, the kohein felt a hand on his back. He turned around and saw an avreich talmid chacham, who inquired what had happened to him. The kohen repeated his painful story, and the stranger asked him, "Do you have a father?" The kohen didn't understand the point of the question, but he answered that of course he had a father. His father was very old and was living in a nursing home in America, and barely communicated with those around him.

"In my opinion, you should fly to America, and tell your father what happened to you," said the man and he turned to leave. The kohein tried to explain to him again that his father's condition made it almost impossible to communicate with him at all. There was no reason that he should make such a great effort to fly to the States to tell his elderly father the story. However, the stranger brushed off his words and turned to go.

The kohein eventually decided to heed this man's words. He reasoned that if Rav Elyashiv told him to go to the Kosel to daven, and if this stranger approached him while he was davening and advised him to fly to America, maybe it was worthwhile for him to go. He arranged a flight, and a day and half later, he was already at his father's side, in the nursing home.

The medical staff had informed the son when he first arrived that his father had not uttered a word for many months, and that he shouldn't expect his father to speak to him. The kohein began his story, and his father didn't respond, but he seemed to be listening to what his son was saying. As the son continued his story, he began crying, and couldn't stop. The unbelievable then occurred; his father began speaking and said clearly that he was not his biological son, but was adopted after the Holocaust; he did not have the status of a kohen, and there was no reason that he couldn't remarry his former wife. (Barchi Nafshi)

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Visitor Comments: 1

YH, 2010-01-18 16:49:04
This is a story about the Lubavitcher Rebbe that was "borrowed" and attributed to others.

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