Section: Stories Category: Story Corner
|On The Paper Trail to South America|
|The house of Rav Rosentech, a Rosh Yeshivah in Eretz Yisrael, was bustling as usual, despite his imminent departure early the next morning to Chutz Laeretz. Rav Rosentech’s talmidim, past and present, were constantly in and out of his house, as well as members of the community who came to seek his guidance. Rav Rosentech always welcomed everybody happily and with great patience, so it wasn’t surprising that the house was still astir the night before his long trip. No one, but his close relatives knew the real purpose of his trip; he had been diagnosed with a malignant growth and was flying to South America for a complicated operation. |
The hour was getting late, and the members of the household wanted to stem the flow of visitors; only a few short hours remained for Rav Rosentech to rest before he woke up early the next morning. However, the house was still full of people, and the Rav patiently helped each one. Finally, after midnight, the house finally emptied, but just then the telephone began to ring. One of the members of the household answered it, irritated that someone was calling at such a late hour, but fearing that it concerned the trip the next day. Instead, it was another person hoping to speak with Rav Rosentech, claiming that it was urgent, and that he had been unable to get through the whole night. Over his family’s protests, Rav Rosentech, who was already in bed, took the call in his room. The man on the line explained that he was the father of a developmentally disabled four year old boy who required a placement in a special education setting, and the most appropriate institution was a place called Shorshim. However, since the parents didn’t have citizenship, the institution refused to accept their son, and meanwhile his family was suffering tremendously from the difficult situation in the household. A friend who worked in the institution told him that if a certain member of Knesset would pressure the school –it may produce results. He was also told that Rav Rosentech had great influence with this Knesset member.
Rav Rosentech instructed the man to come over immediately. The members of the household were upset, but Rav Rosentech was determined to help the man with his difficult situation. He went to the living room, and began writing a letter to the Knesset member. Fifteen minutes later, the man knocked on the door and accepted the letter which was already waiting for him, with heartfelt thanks.
The next morning, Rav Rosentech left to the hospital in South America. Many tests were performed, and it was confirmed that the complicated operation was the only option for saving his life. One morning, the head of the department approached Rav Rosentech to discuss payment. The operation, including the aftercare, would cost tens of thousands of dollars. Rav Rosentech was not a man of material wealth, and did not have any means to attain such a large sum of money.
The department head suddenly had an idea. “Rav Rosentech, we heard that you are a respected man in your community. It is possible that you can receive a significant reduction in the cost, since it an honor for the hospital when respected patients are treated here. But in order to convince the director of the hospital, you really must truly be a respected person.”
Rav Rosentech was extremely skeptical of this suggestion. The head of the hospital had no idea who Rav Rosentech was, and had no familiarity with the Torah world or Eretz Yisrael. And of course, Rav Rosentech was not familiar with the hospital director, and didn’t know anyone who could influence him. However, Rav Rosentech’s son convinced him to set up a meeting with him anyway, commenting that the hearts of South American hospital directors are also in the hands of Shamayim.
The next day, Rav Rosentech met with the head of the hospital. “Harav Rosentech? Harav Rosentech? I recognize that name from somewhere; I’ve heard it recently. Where did I hear the name Harav Rosentech?” said the director. Rav Rosentech was astounded. The words of his son went through his mind, as he pondered how the director of an important hospital in South America could have heard of “Rav Rosentech” from Yerushalayim.
“Maybe you have a connection to the institution “Shorshim”, said the director after a minute. “I know I read the name Rosentech a few days ago.” The name “Shorshim” sounded familiar to Rav Rosentech, but he also couldn’t identify where he had heard it.
The director took out a folder with Shorshim written on it. “I serve as the honorary president of the organization “Shorshim”. I’m a member of the head management of special education institutions which are part of the organization. The director began leafing through the letters and certificates in the folder, and started perusing one letter. “Here, Harav Yitzchak Rosentech from Yerushalayim.” He removed the letter and placed it in front of the shocked eyes of Rav Rosentech.
It was the letter of recommendation in Rav Rosentech’s handwriting, which had been given to his friend, the Knesset member in Yerushalayim. It was the letter that he had written for the man with the disabled son a few short hours before he left Eretz Yisrael.
The director said, “I was requested by this Knesset member to instruct the Shorshim institution to accept the child, despite the fact that his father is lacking citizenship. The Knesset member sent me the letter of recommendation which he received from Rav Rosentech. In his letter, he wrote that Rav Rosentech is a respected personality of the Chareidi community in Yerushalayim.”
The director himself was astounded by the strange coincidence of Rav Rosentech seeing his own handwriting in the far corner of the world a few days after he wrote the letter. On the spot, Rav Rosentech tried to convince the director to agree to the request of the Knesset member, as if that was the reason he was meeting with him. The director answered, “Consider it as if it’s already done, and not only that request,” and he signed the paper for the reduction in price and handed it to Rav Rosentech. (Niflosav Linvei Adam)