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Eye Care
by Mrs. Chaya Aidel Kaufman

Exactly twenty-six years ago, when our son Moshe Leib was born, we were privileged to receive our first letter from the Rebbe in honor of his birth. The letter contained the traditional blessing that we should merit to raise him to Torah, marriage, and good deeds.

Several weeks after the birth of our son, we realized that he had problems with his vision. We had toys that a child tracks with his eyes, and we moved them in front of him, right and left, but his eyes didn’t react. As time passed, I would put noisy and colorful toys in front of him, but his eyes remained locked in place.

One day, I opened the curtains of our home on an unusually bright and sunny English morning, and I noticed that he reacted slightly to the light. While this did give me a modicum of hope, I realized that I wasn’t just being a concerned mother – my baby had a real problem. I quickly made an appointment with our family physician. After a variety of examinations, he confirmed our fears. He explained that he does see a problem of some sort, but since he is only a general practitioner, he referred us to a pediatrician experienced in treating children with vision problems. Within a few days, we appeared at this clinic.

Our son was only two months old at the time, and the doctor began a lengthy series of x-rays and tests. After several long minutes, he sat with us and explained that he didn’t want to alarm us, but there appeared to be a serious problem with our son’s eyes. He asked that we schedule an appointment for four months time with a far more experienced doctor.

Throughout those months of waiting, we continued doing different exercises with the baby. There were several Chabad families who knew about the problem and suggested that we write to the Rebbe.

Despite our great and intensifying faith in the Rebbe, especially since my husband had even visited 770 and beheld its wonders with his own eyes, we still hadn’t internalized the whole concept. Once, when I suggested to my husband that he should contact the Rebbe, he replied that we had already received a letter from the Rebbe for our son, blessing him that he should grow up to Torah, marriage and good deeds – why should we trouble the Rebbe again? The Rebbe was surely quite busy, so why bother him? Despite my husband’s revealed expressions of faith, I remained greatly concerned.

A few days before the new month of Adar, a month and a half after the medical diagnosis that worried us so much, a Melaveh Malka (Saturday night meal, to escort the Shabbat) was held at the home of Rabbi Pinchas Rabin, one of the members of the local Chabad community. After the event’s formalities had concluded, each of the several Chabad chassidim in attendance that evening began to tell a miracle story that he or someone he knew experienced in the merit of the Rebbe’s blessing.

When these chassidim heard about our son’s recently discovered health problem, they urged us to write the Rebbe immediately, surprised that we hadn’t done so until now.

Upon our return home, I told my husband that no matter what, I was going to sit down immediately and write a letter to the Rebbe –and so I did. The very next day, I gathered all the medical information, and laid out the entire problem in every detail, and asked the Rebbe for his blessing. I placed the letter in an envelope addressed to the Rebbe’s secretariat, planning to drop it in the mailbox the following morning.

On Monday, the first day of the month of Adar, before leaving the house to mail the letter, I decided to do one more exercise with our son, using those toys. To my utter disbelief, his eyes began to move – right, left, up, and down, following the toy.

Our appointment with the specialist was still on, and I didn’t want to cancel it. I naively thought that maybe some remnant of the condition remained, or perhaps the child would need to wear special glasses. In any event, we didn’t want to lose the opportunity to consult with this doctor, who was known as a great expert in the field.

On the day of the scheduled appointment, we arrived at the doctor’s office. After a lengthy series of tests, he asked my husband what the problem with our son was. When my husband began to give details of his medical condition, the doctor raised his eyebrows and held out his hands in puzzlement.

“Look,” he said, “I wouldn’t have believed you at all if I hadn’t seen what the first doctor who sent you here had written in his report. But according to my examination, not only do I see nothing wrong, but there isn’t even the slightest sign of a vision problem. If there was something there, it has completely disappeared…”

   
 

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