The Rebbe Maharash had a simple chossid who would pay a visit to the Rebbe in Lubavitch every so often. Once, during yechidus, the Rebbe told him to buy a Chumash with teitch (Yiddish translation) and begin studying it.
The chossid immediately bought such a Chumash and arranged a daily learning schedule. After an extended period of time he concluded the entire Chumash.
The chossid traveled to Lubavitch and entered for yechidus to inform the Rebbe of his accomplishment. “What should I study now?” he asked.
“You should now buy a Nevi’im with teitch and begin studying it,” the Rebbe Maharash instructed.
As before, the chossid made sure that a day didn’t pass without him learning a portion of Navi. He slowly made progress, and after some time he had concluded the first three sefarim of Nevi’im and had begun studying Sefer Melachim.
One bitter winter day, upon coming home, he took off his heavy coat and placed it on the bed, not realizing that his infant child was sleeping there. The coat was now covering him completely, placing him in danger of suffocation. A short time later, he picked up his coat to go back outdoors again. To his horror, he noticed that his child had been lying underneath the coat! Upon closer observation, he and his wife realized that his child was no longer breathing. He had just brought about the death of their own child! One can but imagine the thoughts that began rushing through his mind.
His wife shrieked and ran to summon the doctor, perhaps he can miraculously get the child to breathe again. Although the doctor was then occupied with an other patient, her cries that it was a matter of life and death, caused him to stop in middle of whatever procedure he was doing and rushed alongside her to her house.
In the meantime, putting a stop to the negative thoughts, the chossid said to himself:
“I have gone to the Rebbe many times in the past, and the Rebbe never instructed me to study any particular sefer.Then, a few years ago, the Rebbe suddenly told me to learn Chumash, followed by Navi. Why did the Rebbe give me these instructions at this time?
“Just recently, I learned the story of how Elisha revived the young child of the Shunamis woman. It must be that the Rebbe saw in his great Ruach Hakodesh that one day my son would be in a similar position, and he wanted me know how to revive him.”
In uplifted spirits, the chossid replicated the actions done by Elisha. To his delight and amazement, some color came back to his child’s face, he gave a cough and began breathing once again. He became alive once again!
The father expressed his thanks to Hashem and began playing with his young infant. A few moments later his wife and the doctor rushed into the house breathlessly. Her shriek of delight at seeing her son alive again gave the doctor a pause. Where is the baby that you were crying hysterically about, saying that he is in mortal danger?
The lady didn’t know what to say, she was in shock. So her husband the chossid informed both of them what he did and why he did it.
When chassidim would repeat this story, they would conclude that this was not necessarily the reason the Rebbe had instructed him to study Navi. Perhaps the Rebbe had other intentions in mind. It was the tremendous emunah of the chossid in his Rebbe that brought the child back to life.
Rabbi Avtzon can be contacted at email@example.com.