Dreaming of Moshiach

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It Is Not the Snake That Kills...

My husband davened this morning Shachris in Williamsburg and a Satmar Chassid that he never saw or met before asks him if he has a few minutes to hear a story.[+/-] show/hide text

The Satmar Chassid tells him that 4 years ago, his mother, 80, was hospitalized due to cancer in the brain and spread throughout her body, r'l. The doctors told her she should try chemo but whether she decides to have it or not, they estimate that she will not live more than 3 months, maximum.

She looked at the Doctors straight in the eys and asked, "what is the most dangerous thing that can shorten my life to less than a month?". The Doctors were shocked at this question but the 80-year-old woman was serious, she demanded an answer. They said to stay away from smokers because the smoke of the cigarettes can cause her lungs to collapse within minutes.

The 80-year-old woman never smoked in her life and doesn't know anyone that smokes. In front of the Doctors, she asked her son to immediately fetch her cigarettes. The son asked her in Yiddish why and in the same language, she told him to get it. When he returned with a box of cigarettes, she told the doctors - "I'm Jewish and believe only in God and only God will decree a person's life span and not any human being". She opened the cigarettes box, took out a cigarette, stuck it between her lips, and lit it. The doctors stood there astonished, looking at an 80-year-old woman smoking a cigarette in the hospital. She asked to be excused, got dressed, and left the hospital against medical advice.

On the way home, her son begged her to stop smoking and gave her a million reasons why. She looked at him and said, "it's not the snake that kills, it's the sin that kills".

The Satmar Chassid told my husband that his mother got addicted to the nicotine and 4 years later, she's still alive and smokes 2-3 packs a day. She says the whole book of Tehillim daily and has not stepped into a doctor's office since the day she started smoking.

The Satmar Chassid continued the story and said that after 3 years of constant nudging, a year ago, the brothers and sisters finally succeeded to convince their mother to go back to the hospital for a check up. When his mother FINALLY agreed to go for a check up, the whole family packed into minivans and cars to take their 83 year old mother to the hospital.

When the Doctor came back with the results, he told the family to bring the real mother. The family was shocked at the Doctor's request and insisted that this is the same woman from 3 years ago. The Doctor brought in a team of Doctors and Professionals and showed them x-ray. The family waited nervously but patiently for the results.

The team of Doctors returned to the family and said to them not to waste their time and to bring back the same woman from 3 years ago. The family insisted that this is their mother - the same woman. The Doctors did not believe them and asked them to remove their "funny hats" and to bring back the real mother and not some lady off the street.

It took awhile and more tests, till the Doctors were finally convinced that this is the same woman who had a deadly cancer 3 years ago. The cancer disappeared, like it never happened and she is healthier today than she was 3 years ago.

כדברי ר' חנינא בן דוסא, כי אין הנחש ממית אלא החטא ממית
Rabbi Chanina Ben Dosa, zs'l, says: It is not the snake that kills, it is the sin that kills

(This story is not for promoting cigarette smoking...)



והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו