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Ki Seitzei

But Hashem, your G-d, refused to listen to Bil'am, and Hashem, your G-d, reversed the curse to a blessing for you, because Hashem, your G-d, loved you: (Devarim 23:6).

Our generation is blessed with Holy Rabbis whose blessings have had astounding effects upon their supplicants. It is common to see long lines of people waiting, sometimes for hours, to spend a few moments with a reliable Rabbi and ask his blessing.

So it wasn't uncommon at all for a stranger to show up at the Lederman shul in Bnei Brak and ask where the Gaon Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlita lives. What was strange was that when they asked him what he wants, instead of answering "a berachah - a blessing," he replied "a kelalah - a curse!"

When the fellow finally stood before Reb Chaim he told him a sad story. His parents had died and had left an inheritance for him and his brother equaling five million dollars. He had absolute trust in his sibling and never asked him for any written acknowledgement but relied on him completely to share the inheritance with him fairly.

Recently they both arrived in Israel and he decided to invest his part of the inheritance. He asked his brother for his portion and was shocked that he totally denied that he had any money belonging to him. Actually, he had invested his entire amount in renovating a hotel in Eilat.

Consequently, this brother had come to Rabbi Kanievsky to request that the holy man curse his brother's project that it be unsuccessful.

The kind Rabbi replied that he had never cursed a Jew and would not do so now either. Instead, he gave his blessing that the money which was rightfully his should be returned to him somehow.

It didn't take long and the amazing occurred. A series of fires broke out in Eilat and this brother's project was entirely destroyed. Since he had not yet arranged for insurance, he lost the entire five million dollars he had invested! However, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism decided to recompense those investors who had shown an interest in developing Eilat and returned to this brother half of his investment: two and a half million dollars!

The brother was not blind to the obvious Hashgachah Peratis (Divine Providence) and he understood very well exactly what had occurred. He returned all of the money to his brother and he himself became a full fledged ba'al teshuvah.

(This story is recorded in Aleynu Lishabeach by Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein shlita).

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel