Last Wednesday, I was sitting with Rav Shalom Arush in his office working on our next English book when his son Shimon came flying through the door. Breathless and visibly excited, he threw a whole stack of $20 bills on his father's desk. "Abba," he exclaimed, "there's this American man outside who says that you and Rav Brody saved his life..."
Rav Shalom looked at me knowingly, and smiled back at his son. "Which CD did he hear, or did he read the Garden of Emuna?"
Shimon answered, "HaKtovetHayechida - in English." He was referring to The Only Address. The young man, in a pit of despair, was contemplating suicide; when he heard our CD, he discovered that with emuna, there's no need for despair ever. On the road to a bright new life, he came especially to Jerusalem to express his gratitude.
Yosef Abraham is a Mexican-born artist who is based in Atlanta. His wife bought a Woman of Valor CD. He writes, "This wonderful CD inspired me to finally begin doing Hitbodedut, which is personal prayer with Hashem. Hannah, the mother of Shmuel HaNavi, is the prototype for Jewish prayer. This CD explains how she prayed from her heart to Hashem to supplicate Hashem for a child. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that when one engages in Hitbodedut, that one is elevated to the level of a prophet because Hashem puts the words in your mouth. Do not be afraid that you will not know what to say, this CD taught me. If I am moved by my heart to do hitbodedut, then Hashem puts the words in my mouth. Hashem put words in the mouth of Hannah. The CD explains this is like a judge telling a lawyer exactly how to present his case. When one makes hitbodedut, Hashem listens. So, I prayed. I prayed, among other things, that Hashem would protect my wife..."
Yosef writes about the miracles he and his wife saw after hearing the CD. Read the whole thing on his Nissan 24 (4/12/2007) blog entry, here.
Our CDs don't cause miracles; but, they strengthen your emuna - your pure and unwavering faith in Hashem. With enhanced emuna, you'll see more miracles in your life that you ever dreamed of. Plenty of folks from around the world can testify to that. Have a great week.
Thanks to Rav Shalom Arush and you, my family had a miracle this Pesach that was no less than splitting the Red Sea.
Ever since I was a little boy, I was impeccably neat and thrifty. Guys at the Yeshiva dorm knew that if they came into my room with a crumby cookie, their life was in danger. I never wasted a cent either. Hashem in His mysterious ways matched me up with a beautiful, smart, but very disorderly wife that's not a good money manager. From a month after the wedding, I was at her jugular on a long list of issues. To make a long story short, after 8 years, 3 children, 2 miscarriages and tons of criticism from me, she became a nervous wreck. This past Chanuka, she informed me that she was fed up - she wanted a divorce at all costs.
With rabbinical and parental pressure, she agreed to go to 3 different marriage counselors. Nothing worked. She wanted a forced separation, but I refused to leave the house. The tension was terrible. The kids were taking the strain and knew - despite their tender age - just what the score was.
On the day after this past Tu B'Shvat, my wife hired a divorce lawyer and paid him 5000 Canadian dollars up front, from our mutual account. When I discovered what happened, a blew sky high and stormed out of the house. I just started driving aimlessly through the streets of Toronto not knowing what to do. With hot tears of anger and frustration in my eyes, I just started yelling in the car, "Hashem, you have to help me!!!" Until then, outside of formal prayer, I never spoke to Hashem before. A minute later, I stopped at an intersection at a red light near the centre of town, and this Chassidic guy with an Israeli accent tapped on my window and put a CD in my hand. I gave him a few dollars tzedakka, then the light turned green, and I drove away.
The name of the CD was Respecting Your Wife. It put me into a state of shock. I thought I knew everything about marriage, but after hearing that CD, I realized I knew nothing. I decided to do emergency tshuva, to Hashem and to my wife. I couldn't believe how fast Hashem answered my call for help.
At first, she was skeptical of my intentions. "You'll never change; you've destroyed my life with your criticism, selfishness, and stinginess... I would rather not see you ever again!" etc etc - it wasn't easy. Through all of Adar, I forced myself to smile, even though I was sleeping in the basement at her insistence. I had to do something urgent. So, with your inspiration Rabbi Brody, I bought her and the children airline tickets to visit her parents 2 weeks before Pesach. She hadn't seen them for a year. She was aghast at my unexpected and uncharacteristic gesture. I hired a crew of cleaners, and told her that I'd take care of all the Pesach cleaning and shopping myself, as a small token of remorse for the 8 years of anguish I caused her. She was probably the only Jewish woman in Toronto that was away on a holiday 2 weeks before Pesach!
Believe it or not, she came home 3 days early - she didn't want to forfeit mikva night and she actually missed me. She closed the file with the divorce lawyer too. We had a beautiful Seder together after having moved back in the same bedroom. She said that she would never have believed in a million years that I would prepare the entire household for Pesach.
I can safely declare that thank G-d I have not criticized her in the slightest for over 7 weeks. My wife has become a fan of yours too, seeing how you've influenced me. Her only complaint is, "Where has he been hiding all this time?"
How can I ever thank you, Rabbi? Your Emuna Outreach has saved my family, my life, and the future of my children. I'm writing this letter to spread the word and to let you know that Rabbi Nachman's fire - as passed along so wonderfully by Rav Arush and you - is warming up all of Toronto. May Hashem give you strength to continue, and may He bless all those who help to produce and distribute your marvelous CDs. They are life-savers in small packages. With deepest gratitude, (my wife and I sincerely request that you don't publish our names) from Toronto