Chazon ish and neurosurgery

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    I heard this story from someone who claimed that it was a famous, well known, and true maaseh. However after a relatively thorough investigation I have not found any sources for it. Can someone please provide details to prove its authenticity?

    A child in Israel was in an accident and suffered some sort of brain injury. None of the doctors in Israel wanted to operate. The family went to the chazon ish who subsequently took out a piece of paper drew exactly how the neurosurgeon should operate in order to save the child and then directed the family to a certain doctor in New York. When the family got to America the doctor said that he would never have thought of this but will do it if thats what the chazon ish said. Lo and behold it was a success!

    The closest I ever got to uncovering some details in this story was during a conversation I had with someone I was closed to who said that the story happened to his relative. When I asked for the name of the doctor so I could try verifying the story the reply I got was: “you need to speak to a non-jew to get your emunas chachamim!” and despite my pleading that I just want to know the details he hung up on me. I also once asked a well known story teller if it was true and he said it was and when I asked him for his source he said he had none but he knows its true.

    Additionally I once found someone on ebay claiming to be selling the actual drawing. When I sent a message asking for a way to verify the authenticity the item was removed (or at least I could not find it under the sellers list of selling or sold items).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am fascinated with stories of chachomim and medical knowledge and have invested a lot of time trying to research this maaseh.


    I’ve heard a somewhat similar story regarding the Skeverer Rebbe, who was a buki in medics.


    Aleen – firsthand I know of a similar maysoh. My rebbe’s brother, a mekubal in brooklyn, and a rov at the bnei yosef shul, told the doctors who were taking care of a comatose woman who had given birth before entering that state, that they needed to examine a certain artery, after he merely looked at her name on the mi sheberach list – sure enough, that artery was clogged, however the surgery was going to be very difficult because of the paitent’s health and other factors; i dont know if she got a refuah shelaima, but this is a more direct example – I too have heard this about the chazon ish, but it’s not too hard to believe..when you learn enough torah, you get a deeper perspective on things in both the ruchnius and gashmiusdige worlds.

    I would not recommend buying it on ebay could be a fraud, and there’s no reason to own it anyway, plus it would be impossible to verify if it was really his.


    dont have the source

    Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman (not a man to tell unsubstantiated stories)tells over this Maaseh. I dont know how to reach him, but he IS reachable. Try to contact him. I am sure he will know the source.


    Here we go again.

    First my disclaimers.

    1) The Chazon Ish zt”l was a tzadik, Gaon, and Kadosh – not that he needs my haskama.

    2) People of the very rare caliber of the Chazon Ish are quite possibly endowed with kochos and siyata dishmaya, that is beyond normal.

    Having said that.

    1) That fact that the story has been told does not create a chiyuv to believe it. It is a personal choice.

    2) It is at least as likely to be untrue as it is to be true. (There are some serious problems with the story, at least in the version told above.)

    3) One’s choice to believe it or not believe it reflects more on their personality than on their level of emunah.


    Matisyohu28 – Can you please tell me how it would be possible to be in touch with that Mekubal? I need it for a sick family member.

    Pashuteh Yid

    I believe I read this story in the Jewish Observer quite a few years back. The story also goes that the doctor always consulted with the Chazon Ish afterwards, and when the Chazon Ish passed away, the doctor gave up medicine. Either that story or the fact that the Chazon Ish said he could cure cancer, but there is always a worse machala that would take it’s place.

    At any rate, regarding this story and the other thread about the person who was never jealous, the Torah says that all the nissim that Moshe did were L’einei Kol Yisroel. We all saw first-hand. I am not sure we are mechuyav to believe any mofes that we do not see with our own eyes. Any mofes which is told over does not carry the same weight. Eino domeh shmiyah lr’iyah. If you get chizuk, then fine. If you think it is a bubba mayseh, that is also fine.

    blue shirt

    I will add to tvt’s carefully chosen words. The Chazon Ish’s greatness did not lie in his alleged expertise in neurosurgical techniques. To portray him or other Torah giants as scientific experts is misguided and does not increase our appreciation of them.

    Having said that, I spoke with someone who is closely associated with one of the major Jewish publishing companies. I asked him if he’s heard the above story and he replied that it appears in no less than six of his company’s books. He added that he had asked each author to verify the story and each one of them could say only that he “had heard the story from someone else”. No original source, no objective verification and certainly no documentation. Draw your own conclusions.


    ah, special mod privileges.

    He did it w/o breaking any rules:


    The Chazon Ish himself points out that in the time of Dovid ha’Melech they were able to surgically remove soldiers’ spleens to make them run faster.

    Long island Yid

    This is my take of the story after hearing many versions over the years, including the picture the Mod previously linked to.

    The Chazon Ish was an Illuy a genius, who used his knowledge primarily for Torah.

    However, he would have been at the top of his field had he chosen any branch of knowledge.

    So when the brain doctor hesitated to operate, the Chazon Ish spoke to him and asked to be shown a diagram of the surgical site. (That is where the famous diagram comes in).

    When seeing the diagram with the explanation of how the standard procedure of operating was done, the Chazon Ish reviewed the info with the diagram and suggested an alternate approach which impressed the surgeon who followed through with that method.

    Not to compare my wife to the Chazon Ish.

    Many years ago my wife needed some facial surgery that was to include some plastic reconstructive surgery too.

    She asked the doctor about what it was going to look like afterwards.

    My wife was flabbergasted that she had to offer that suggestion even though she has no medical knowledge, just lots of common sense.

    old man


    I have a magical silver knife to sell you for $479 (cheaper than in Mishpachah magazine, a real bargain), it will cut out spleens and make the patient run faster to his death.


    Aleen1 -“I heard this story from someone who claimed that it was a famous, well known, and true maaseh. However after a relatively thorough investigation I have not found any sources for it. Can someone please provide details to prove its authenticity?

    Lo and behold it was a success”

    It wasn’t a total success! The boy was an infant & he had a tumor in the brain. The Chazon Ish drew a diagram of how to do the surgery. The doc messed up, but it was basically the way of the godol. He was left with a dermatological disease & he didn’t have an ear. He was able to get married & have kids. I knew him and one of his sons. He worked for BMG, but eventually he succumbed to the brain tumor.


    When a person is that holy, learned, and close to Hashem, it’s very possible for them to know things, see things, and make miracles. Rabbi Tatz mentions this in a lecture, Torah – The cause of Reality

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