Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Story: The Grandmother who called at her own Shiva

Heard from Rabbi Shmuel Hendel in Kfar Chabad, told to him by Rabbi EliyahuSegal of Rishon L'Tzion.

An elderly lady living in a nursing home in New York passed away. Her children, who always visited her and took care of her, did their duty and did a proper Jewish Tahara and burial.

On the 5th day of sitting shiva, the phone rang and the daughter sitting shiva answered the phone. On the other end of the phone was her mother, whom she just buried. The daughter, in shock, immediately fainted.

The phone rang again and it was her mother again, complaining that no one came to visit her that week. The family then rushed to the nursing home and it turned out there was a mix-up at the nursing home and it was her roommate that passed away and not their mother. This means that the wrong family buried the person… imagine hoe everybody felt about this crazy mistake. So now the nursing home had the grim job of informing the children of the other lady that their mother died 5 days ago. The nursing home called and was trying to break it to these children slowly, but before they could even tell the children what happened, the children callously answered, “If this call has anything to do with our mother, we are not interested.”

The children said, “All day long our mother wastes her time and just prays and prays and says Psalms.” The children then added, “And the one thing she prays for is that when she dies she should have a proper Jewish burial. But,” the children cruelly said, “We will outsmart her and when she dies we will spite her and make sure she will not have a proper Jewish burial! We don’t believe in all these religious myths. Cremation is far cheaper and more appropriate.”

The nursing home then explained to them it was too late as she already received her proper Jewish burial!

Look at the power of prayer and to the extent G-d will turn the world around to answer a prayer. Here this pious lady only prayed for one thing, a proper burial. Knowing it was almost impossible, due to her children’s apathy and selfishness, yet she didn’t give up. So G-d orchestrated this whole mix-up to respond to the prayers of this woman.

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