September 28, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm #610739
I’ve been working with a teenager who has serious emunah issues, partially caused by information he has found on the internet. During one of my conversations with him he told me, to my surprise, that he thinks that one of the most convincing proofs of Judaism is it’s gedolim. He wanted to know if I knew of any stories of a “clear” miracle or ruach hakodesh by a current or recent Gadol.
Does anyone here have something like that to share?September 29, 2013 1:37 am at 1:37 am #1030800King19Member
When R’ Pinto saw a picture of my father, he said in detail what my father is suffering from and subsequently gave a beracha for refuah sheleimah. No other way for him to know about itSeptember 29, 2013 1:38 am at 1:38 am #1030801TorahrocksMember
I too would like to know of any such events or any other evidence of the spiritual impacting on our physical lives here on Earth, which could be verified by reliable observers.
The closest I have come so far is stories of some stories of Israeli doctors who were strong devout athiests who became frum after witnissing recoveries that should have been totally impossible with absolutely no room whatsoever for any mitigating circumstances such as a misdiagnosis or some treatment working better than expected or anything at all to allow for any ‘natural’ explanation.
But I only heard these as stories that had been retold many times by the time I first heard them and I have never been able to get the names of any of these doctors or otherwise verify that the stories are true.
I wish I could, though.September 29, 2013 2:40 am at 2:40 am #1030802HaLeiViParticipant
Today was the Yartzeit of the Ribnitzer Rebbe. There are countless miraculous stories about him.September 29, 2013 2:56 am at 2:56 am #1030803TheGoqParticipant
Gedolim are not in the miracle making business, their miracle is their very existence, that in a world filled with so many spiritual pitfalls and gashmiusdik distractions that they can remain so pure and so filled with ahavas yisroel, and love of Torah and Mitvos, have this teen spend five minutes with a true gadol and just watch the impact it will have.September 29, 2013 4:54 am at 4:54 am #1030804
What do you think of King19’s story? I have a similar one of a known mekubal (some of them are charlatans, I know) telling over to my father something that traumatic that happened to him as a kid, which he never told anyone.September 29, 2013 4:55 am at 4:55 am #1030805
HaLeivi, I’m looking for first-hand accounts.
The Goq, I’d probably need those stories to get him to go to them!September 29, 2013 7:40 am at 7:40 am #1030806King19Member
The famous story of R’ Mordecai Eliyahu and the Hida unbelievable. Lot of credible sources. Many famous Steipler stories with many witnesses on hand.September 29, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am #1030808RationalRoseMember
I think that miracle stories are a very weak basis for emunah. It may get him through a short period of time but I think there is plenty of room for skepticism for any specific story and for the whole group of miracle stories. Every religion has its stories that seem unbelievable (with people that swear they happened) but they cant all be true right? And if they are all true then there is no proof for one religion over the other. Obviously I would not tell him they aren’t true – they may all be accurate – just that he should not use them as the foundation of his faith. Much more unique and powerful in my mind is the collective history of the Jewish People. I think that is a stronger basis for faith – and while not a proof – should be pretty powerful and hard to “disprove”September 29, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am #1030809
I’ve often found that different people are impressed by different things, and what does it for you may not do it for someone else, and vice versa. Personally, as long as have no reason to think someone is lying to you, if the story he tells is clearly a miracle, I think that’s very powerful.September 29, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #1030810Derech HaMelechMember
My grandmother saw the Ribnitzer tell a girl who hadn’t been able to walk (either it had been a long time since she had or she hadn’t been able to since birth, I can’t recall) “Come here” and she walked to him.
I was getting sick every month for 2 years. After I got married I went to Rav Chaim Kanievsky and he told me that since I just got married I don’t need to worry about it anymore and it never happened again.September 29, 2013 2:10 pm at 2:10 pm #1030811jdbParticipant
Someone doubting the truth of the torah should spend time with someone from Aish or the like. They have both rational reasons for emunah (toras emes) and the emotional experiences (toras chaim) that combine to create a powerful experience.
On a personal note, I was saved by a gadol giving what was also rational advice. I was very young when I became extremely ill. We went to specialists and they couldn’t figure it out. A friend went to the lubavitcher rebbe and gave him my name and situation. He recommended that we check my father’s tfillin and that we try a pediatrician – maybe it was something we overlooked. He was right on both counts, and I’m alive today thanks to his spiritual and practical advice – and the incredible diagnostic skills of the pediatrician who caught what top notch specialists missed.September 29, 2013 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #1030812DaMosheParticipant
Believing that Rabbis can perform miracles is not so simple – many hold it’s apikorsis. Hashem performs the miracles. A person merely davens and asks Hashem to do it.September 29, 2013 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #1030813percyParticipant
Some years ago, I was working in business with companies in the Far East. we had good relations, and tried to work a long term deal with major companies. Every which way we tried for six months it did not work. The financing was there , it just did not work. A mashulach
came to the door one night about 9 pm, and I ended up giving him a check, and two head checks ( no need to have future travel expenses ).
He was not out the door two minutes the phone rings that the deal six months in the making went through.
I tried to find him and could not, and as much as I tried, nobody could give me a # or address. Some years later while attending a wedding in Israel, i saw a familiar face. I approached him and he said he vaguely remembered me. As I stuck my hand ion my pocket I gave him all I had a $100 bill. The next morning I called the US to check on my stock positions, and some ridiculous Penny stock of which I had 17K shares was up over $4 with no news ( BTW it is less than $0.10 today ) I sold immediately 6K and sold the rest over the next few days till $16. When I asked the baal simcha who this person was he told me, a great dayan , that all the rebbes come to , to solve problems both halachacly and socially.
If you have real faith that the good you do is for the right reason, KB’H will send the agent, means or ways to let one
lay person know that sometimes the rewards are instant, sometime
longer off, but always he has the ways to let you know.September 29, 2013 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #1030814Ben LeviParticipant
I think this is a somewhat difficult subject.
In my case I was sick, the Doctors were in their words extremely “pessimistic” of a complete recovery, if there was to be a recovery at all.
Yet Rav Shteinmann said all would be well (along with other Gedolei Yisroel).
I did merit a complete recovery and the Doctors called my case “humbling”.
Does that qualify as a Nes?
I do not know, and my emunah is not dependent on it.
the thing I do take from it is that they is HKBH and while Doctors have a Heter of Rapoh Y’Rapeh they do not have the power of predictions.September 29, 2013 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1030815TorahrocksMember
I like that story, and believe it is probably true.
What I am looking for is something that for example would have been
reported in the New York Times, or other similarly large secular publication, that could be shown to a skeptic who could not easily dismiss it for having been reported by those biased toward belief or as a mere coincidence or anything like that.
I just remembered a story I read a couple of months ago in Yahoo News, about a car accident in which someone was trapped inside his car and the emergency rescue crews including two full companies from two firehouses plus police had closed off the roadway in both directions and were trying to free the trapped person in the car.
Their jaws of life which were supposed to tear open the twisted metal to free the person inside, were not working and the crews could not get him out.
Suddenly a priest showed up from out of nowhere and in a calm voice told the rescuers to try again and that their machines would work this time, which suddenly they did.
After they freed the man they went to thank the priest who had disappeared as mysteriously as he had come, despite there being no way in or out without the police and fire crews having seen him come and go.
Later there was a report that one priest was claiming he was the one who had been there and told them the comforting words, after which everything started working.
But that report could not explain how he had gotten in or out and the car he said he had driven there was not a make or model, anyone had seen in the area that day.
In the comments section skeptics and athiests were making fun of the idea of belief in G-d and in anything supernatural, but they could not explain away the miraculous nature of this story which had been witnessed by so many well respected professionals.
I am looking for more stories like this.September 29, 2013 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1030816LevAryehMember
I personally know a yungerman who lost all his hair from an “uncurable” disease. A few years ago he went to R’ Chaim Kanievsky and lamented the loss of his beard, saying that he wanted his tzurah of a Ben Torah back. R’ Chaim gave him a beracha. To this day he does not have a hair upon his body, aside from his full beard.September 29, 2013 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #1030818yeshivaguy45Participant
There was a story that happened in Williamsburg about 40 years ago. There was a Yungerman who was very sick. He went around to different Rebbes and got many brachos. Baruch Hashem, he had a refua shelaim. Each circle of chassidim were trying to figure out which rebbe did the mofeis. One circle said their rebbe did it, another circle said their rebbe did it, etc. They went to the Satmar Rebbe and asked him, which rebbe did the mofeis. The sSatmar Rebbe answered that In Shamayim, it depends on how many chassidim said their rebbe did it. So the rebbe that had the most chassidim saying that their rebbe did it was the one that did the mofeis. But then the Satmar Rebbe said, “If you want to know the truth who did it, it was the Ribono Shel Olam, and He doesn’t have that many chassidim who say He did it.”September 29, 2013 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #1030819zvei dinimParticipant
“If you google “Pope miracle saint”, you will get some nice miracles performed by the pope.”
It’s different when you live in a close-knit community and you can get a good sense of things. I personally come from Chasidishe family and I heard a few 1st and 2ndhand stories of Mofsim in my own family. Still I personally remain a misnagid, and think Chasidus is a perversion of Judaism (folowing Reb Chaim following Ramabam that Mofsim can’t prove derech in Yideshkait ?? ????? ???).
I don’t mean to convince you… ??? ???? …September 29, 2013 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #1030820WIYMember
There are also mofsim storie from Rosh Yeshivah and great Litvish gedolim you just need to ask around. Call r paysach known Rav Fisher shelter or other famous story teller they will have hundreds for you.September 29, 2013 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #1030821yeshivaguy45Participant
WIY I think spellcheck is broken. R’Paysach Krohn and R’ Fishel Schechter. Usually as far as I know they have inspiring stories, not exactlt moifsim.September 30, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am #1030822metrodriverMember
Shraga 18: I’m glad you inserted your caveat parenthetically (that some so-called Mekubalim are charlatans.) in your answer to Torah Rocks. Because they are out there, unfortunately. As a general rule, those so-called Mekubalim that toot their own horn are usually the phonies, and they do more harm than good. On the other hand, those Tzaddikim that are genuine Gedolei Yisroel, achieved their Madreigos only through Mesiras Nefesh and self-sacrifice. Just to name a few, of the recent past, like the Chofetz Chaim & the Ribnitzer Rebbe. Or, R. Samson Rafael Hirsch & the Rebbe of Lublin. And many other Rabbis. All of them had one thing in common. Their boundless Ahavas Yisrael and concern for every individual human being. And they all (each one of those enumerated)went through a period of self-sacrifice in their personal life.September 30, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am #1030823OutsiderMember
I recommend telling this young man about all of the stories of jews that were saved by amazing coincidences during 911 attacks. As I’m sure you know so many Jews were saved that conspiracy theorists call it the “jewish conspiracy”September 30, 2013 1:02 am at 1:02 am #1030824yytzParticipant
You might have him check out the biography of the Baba Sali, by his personal assistant, who witnessed many instances of ruach hakodesh and miraculous happenings. Aside from this book, many people have reported seeing similar wonders from the Baba Sali.
Of course, there are also hundreds of such stories, many of them first-hand accounts, relating to the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Even the mechaber was visited by angelic beings, as documented in his journal. For those (less rationalist) people who do not have trouble believing in such things, the fact that R’ Caro was a kabbalist and had mystical experiences could strengthen their emunah in the halachic system.September 30, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #1030825crisisoftheweekMember
To the OP
This kid figured it out..let him go and just chalk that one up as a “loss”
You aren’t going to win him back with ancedotal stories with zero sceintific proof.
21st century yidishkeit has become a Gadol worshipping contest..seems like we were influenced by Christianity a little more than we would like to admit.September 30, 2013 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #1030826HaLeiViParticipant
That last Pasuk of the Torah musta been put in by Christains.September 4, 2014 3:56 am at 3:56 am #1030829SayIDidIt™Participant
For all those into these threads (which I am NOT following).
Enjoy!September 4, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #1030830my own kind of jewParticipant
” During one of my conversations with him he told me, to my surprise, that he thinks that one of the most convincing proofs of Judaism is it’s gedolim.”
If this is what he thinks is one of the most convincing proofs, and he’s going OTD, or struggling, clearly it’s not working for him. Instead of trying to reinforce this, you’d probably be better off finding different/better reasons for him to stay religious.September 4, 2014 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #1030831benignumanParticipant
To Crisis of the Week and the OP:
There are plenty of counter-arguments to whatever this young man read on the internet. The internet is full of poor arguments for atheism. Have the kid speak to someone who actually knows something about science and philosophy. Depending on how sophisticated the child is, there are different books I could recommend.
As many have written, miracles are a poor basis for faith unless they happen to you personally (and even then “yesh belibo dofi”). That being said extended encounters with true talmidei chachamim past and present can be a very strong basis for faith, not based on miracles, but based on the combination of genius, integrity, and loving-kindness of the Gadol.
I have personally had borderline miraculous things happen to me where I have seen the efficacy of tefillah. When they happen your emunah is very strong, but after time passes and the impression lessens you start to rationalize them away.September 5, 2014 12:00 am at 12:00 am #1030832SayIDidIt™Participant
Please note that this thread is 11 months old and many of the posters (including the OP) are not around here anymore.
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