A Tzaddik’s Bracha: After 11 Yrs. He Realized His Kallah Was Standing Next To Him


A shaila about an incident that began 12 years ago was recently asked to HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Zilberstein, who printed the story and shaila in a booklet published by Kollel Beis Dovid in Holon.

The protagonist of the story wrote: “About 12 years ago, when I was 21 and I was having trouble finding a shidduch, my friend suggested that I request the bracha of a Gadol B’Yisrael whose brachos are known to be fulfilled. I stood in a long line and when it was finally my turn, I asked to find my zivug quickly. The tzaddik gave me a bracha and said: ‘Your zivug is very close.’ My friend took photos and a video of the encounter.

“When I heard the unequivocal bracha from the tzaddik’s mouth, I was filled with joy, and I said that if the words of the tzadik come true, I’ll donate NIS 10,000 to a certain tzedaka.

“But months passed, and then a year, and then two years, and my zivug wasn’t even in sight. During that time, I grumbled to my friend – ‘what about the bracha of the tzaddik who said ‘your zivug is very close?”

“Many years after the bracha, at the age of 32, an 18-year-old girl from a good family was suggested to me. Baruch Hashem, despite my age, her parents agreed to the shidduch and after several dates, we got engaged. It was 11 years after the tzaddik’s bracha, a period that according to all opinions isn’t considered a ‘zivug b’karov.’

“The friend who convinced me to seek the tzaddik’s bracha is a relative of the kallah. One day, the subject of the bracha came up and the fact that I harbored a bit of grievance in my heart that the tzaddik said my zivug was close but it didn’t turn out to be. Of course, as it turned out, I couldn’t have gotten engaged earlier because the zivug that was set from Shamayim when the tzaddik gave me a bracha – was only seven years old at the time.

“The kallah, whose family is also close to the tzaddik, said that she must see the photos. My friend had saved the photos and video on his computer and my kallah and I sat down to watch the video. We watched as I stood in line and waited and I spoke with the tzaddik and he said: ‘Your zivug is very close.’

“Suddenly, my kallah jumped up from her chair and screamed: ‘This is unbelievable! I can’t believe this.’

“‘What happened?’ we said, and she replied: ‘Look at the video. The person standing behind you in line for a bracha is my father and the young girl who’s holding his hand is me…I was seven years old and I came with my father to get a bracha from the tzaddik!’

“Suddenly, retroactively, after 11 years of waiting and uncertainty, the tzaddik’s bracha that ‘your zivug is very close’ was proven to be true – close in a physical sense rather than in a timely sense.

“After we recovered from our shock and surprise, my friend told me: ‘One minute, didn’t you promise that if the tzaddik’s words were fulfilled, you would donate a large amount of money to tzedaka?’

“I replied: ‘Correct, I remember it like yesterday. But what does that have to do with anything? You know that I only found my zivug after 11 years.’

“But my friend claimed that I made a promise that if the tzaddik’s words came true that ‘your zivug is very close,’ I’ll donate a certain amount of money to tzedaka. And now it turns out that the tzaddik’s words came true – that my zivug was very close from a physical standpoint.

“However, I think that surely my intention was not that the tzaddik’s words would be fulfilled in this manner – but that it would come ‘soon’ -in a timely fashion.”

HaRav Zilberstein responded: “Surely Shamayim put the true words in the tzaddik’s mouth and if he would have said that the zivug was close in time, it wouldn’t have been good for the bochur, because it was decreed for him 40 days before his creation that there would be a difference of 14 years between him and his partner.”

“The wording of the neder was that if the words of the tzaddik came true, and it did turn out that the tzaddik’s came true. But nevertheless, it seems that he is not obligated to pay his neder because nedarim aren’t based on the truth or the wording but on the intention of the one who made the vow. And like it’s ruled in the Shulchan Orech that anyone who takes a vow – we see why he made the neder and then we learn what he intended. And we go after what he intended, and not the meaning of the words. And since here his intention was to give the tzedaka only if his zivug would be close in time – and not physically close to him – and although the shidduch occurred at the moment it was supposed to because it wasn’t shayach beforehand because his kallah was not yet 18 – but nevertheless, since he didn’t make a neder on this [the physical closeness] and it wasn’t the intention of his neder, he is exempt from paying what he promised.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)