Hope Brings Salvation


The Gemara comments (Shabbat 31a) that one of the questions each person will be asked in heaven after 120 years is, “Did you anticipate salvation?”  The simple meaning of this remark is that we will be asked whether we anticipated and longed for the arrival of Mashiah to rescue the Jewish people from our prolonged exile.  However, the Bet HaLevi explains that this question also refers to our anticipating salvation from our personal problems. As long as a person has hope, anything is possible. The Gemara comments (Berachot 10a), “Even if a sharp sword rests upon a person’s neck, he should not withhold himself from prayer.” Nothing is beyond Hashem. The worst thing a person can do is to despair and stop praying.

The tzaddikim instruct that if a patient’s doctor despairs and say he cannot be cured, no one should be informed of this. As long as people think there is hope for recovery, they will pray intensely and Hashem will respond favorably to their prayers. But if a person has given up hope, they will not pray and then the salvation cannot come. The Gemara (Ketubot 104a) tells that when Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi was gravely ill, hovering between life and death, the entire yeshivah was praying on his behalf. One of the rabbis announced that anyone who reported that Rabbi Yehudah died would be deserving of being stabbed. The commentators ask: Why would it have been so wrong to report Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi’s death? The Shittah Mekubetzes explains that if the people would think that he died, they would stop praying. As long as they thought he was still alive, they would continue praying and Hashem could still bring him back. It’s never too late to pray, no matter how dire the situation.

A woman from Great Neck related that in the summer of 2012, her two-year-old daughter fell into a pool. When she was pulled out, she did not have a pulse, her eyes were open, her face was blue, and her nails were purple. It appeared as though she had already passed away. While her husband performed CPR on the girl, the mother cried out to Hashem. She accepted upon herself from that moment that she would dress modestly and cover her hair. Miraculously, the child’s pulse was restored, at which point she was rushed to the hospital in a Hatzalah ambulance.

During that time the girl spent in the hospital, Tehillim was being recited by Jews across the world. Six of the top neurologists were brought in to examine the girl, and she underwent hours upon hours of testing. When the testing was finally completed, the chief doctor, Dr. Keith Meyer, said to the parents, “Your daughter is a walking miracle.”

The doctors obtained a video of the accident taken by a surveillance camera. It showed, to their sheer astonishment, that the girl had been underwater for three minutes and ten seconds. She should have been clinically dead. Yet, there was not even a trace of any brain damage. She was alive and well.

The doctor, who is Jewish, said to the parents, “I don’t know what I have believed until now, but now I clearly see that there is a Hashem in the world.”  He noted that he had, unfortunately, seen many children who had been underwater for less than a minute and suffered permanent brain damage. It made no medical sense that this girl suffered no damage after being underwater for that long.

Hashem can do anything. Nothing is impossible for Him. No matter what the situation is, the problem can always be solved. As long as there is hope and tefillah, the salvation will come.