Yoel Brill, former director of the Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS) and founder of A Hope to Heal, related the following story he experienced last night while visiting the Rebbe’s Ohel in anticipation of tonight’s RCCS barbecue in Flatbush:
Five years ago, as I was planning the RCCS Flatbush annual summer barbecue, I figured – “why not expand the communities which are involved?” So I asked my good friends in Crown Heights to join in and make it a joint Flatbush and Crown Heights barbecue.
The night before the event, I traveled to the Ohel and davened that RCCS should have hatzlacha with the barbecue. It was with Hashgacha pratis that I met a wealthy man at the Ohel, who was curious as to what I was doing at the ohel in middle of the night, and after explaining to him my situation he gave me a generous check towards the event.
I cannot describe how amazed I was that night that my tefillos where answered so quickly, and thus the tradition began. Every year, the night before the barbecue, I go to the Ohel, every year without fail I witness the Koach of the Rebbe and the power of tefilah.
Last night, I wasn’t sure what to do. You see, around six months ago I founded a new organization, A Hope to Heal. With elaboration, suffice it to say that A Hope to Heals’ mission is to help non-cancer patients. My new responsibilities became very overwhelming and after getting guidance from gedolei yisroel and of course after davening many times at the Ohel – I left RCCS to fully focus on A Hope to Heal.
In my mind I wasn’t sure if I should continue my tradition of going to the Ohel the night before the RCCS barbecue. But, being that for the first time in my life I accepted to be an honoree at the RCCS barbecue, I decided that I should go to the Ohel and once again daven for the success of the event. I thought to myself that I’m having an inaugural ladies’ luncheon upstate next Wednesday, which includes women from Crown Heights, and I wouldn’t be able to go before that event so now is a perfect time to daven for both.
I went to the Ohel and read my kvital, asking first and foremost for the safety of our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisroel. Then I davened for the success of the RCCS barbecue, which will take place tonight (Tuesday) in Flatbush, and for the success of the Eat Well-Live Well ladies’ luncheon next Wednesday in the Raleigh Hotel.
After washing my hands and filling my cup of tea (that too is a tradition), I noticed a man that had been standing outside for a while. I thought “why is he here in the middle of the night? Is there a barbecue somewhere else and he also goes the night before? Is he ok? Is his family ok?”
Well, after looking at him and seeing the burden he was carrying on his face, it was clear to me that this man was there to daven for something that must have been very personal and very serious. Without hesitation, I approached him and asked about his well being. He replied “all is well” with his mouth, but his eyes told me otherwise. I did not want to intrude on his privacy, so I discreetly took out my organization card and left it near his car.
Driving home, I couldn’t stop thinking about this man and his troubles, and most importantly – how I could help him.
My curiosity lasted only until this morning, when I was awakened by a call from the man. “I’m not sure if this is the right number, but are you “A Hope to Heal”? Ribono Shel Olam, I once again see miracles! I am certain that it was the Koach of tefilla and of this holy place that put the two of us together in order that we should both have our prayers answered.