Chavi is the pride of Hashem and the Jewish people. She has survived what others call "disaster" but she avoids that word with her children. She looks for the good in what happened, and that is exactly what she sees. This is what she tells her orphans now: "What happened was not bad - it just was. We must all earn our place in the land of Israel... now we've earned our place in the land ...Hashem loves us so much that He's locked us into this place and we can never leave Him again. Just love that we're here, and forget about the rest."
Soon to give birth without a husband, Chavi is a 37 year old widow with six orphaned boys who has risen in holiness and emuna with each successful test that she has passed: domestic violence, marital betrayal, her husband's suicide and ultimately a fire that has left her with nothing. Let me tell you her story.
About two years ago, something snapped in Chavi's first husband. He became extremely violent and dangerous. She had to protect herself and her children by fleeing to safety. Chavi's husband was psychotic. He life ended by his own hand. Last summer, in an attempt to re-build her shattered life, Chavi made Aliyah with her six sons, ages 3-12. Soon afterwards, she met a young man who seemed happy to marry her and become a father to her six sons. At least that was what she thought.
A few weeks ago, Chavi discovered that her husband was having an affair with one of her "friends." He has abandoned his wife and children to shamelessly take an apartment, with his girlfriend, in full view of Chavi and her children. Initially, Chavi's pain was too much to bear. She was sinking more deeply into depression by the day. Then, someone took her to hear Rabbi Lazer Brody speak in the Golan. The speech revived her soul, and gave her a new lease on life. They brought her to Rabbi Brody, after the speech and he Blessed her and comforted her with words of Faith. I do not know what he told her, but since then, Chavi has been clinging to Rabbi Brody's words and the book Garden of Gratitude, by Rabbi Shalom Arush, which never leaves her hands - It is her lifeline that connects her to the holy tzaddik, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, may his memory be a shield for us all.
Chavi is grateful for her life and the lives of her children; she is grateful for the opportunity to live in Israel; she is grateful for her situation because it has ignited in her a passionate dream to help pregnant women who are alone; to help homeless women, like herself, who have suffered from cruelty and violence; she is grateful that she has found a Breslever community in Israel and the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush; she is grateful to be a catalyst for the mobilization of chesed (kindness) amongst the Jewish people which she knows protects us from harm and brings us closer to Redemption; she is grateful for the opportunity to spread emuna through her personal example; she is grateful for the outpouring of generosity that she has received from the religious community; she is grateful for the opportunity to show the non-religious and anti-religious world the virtues of how Torah-observant Jews respond to situations like hers; she is grateful to Hashem for burning her passports and other documents so that she did not flee from Israel in her moment of doubt. Gevalt! Gevalt! Gevalt! The Holy Mothers and Fathers in Heaven cry when they hear this woman speak!...they cover their faces and cannot stop the tears. They love her so much that they cannot bear to look.
You too are Blessed, if your heart is now breaking for Chavi. You should be Blessed to be waking up from your spiritual sleep...you should be Blessed to know what is real and not fake...you should be Blessed to be feel deeply how little you know...you should be blessed feel the enormity of what you are missing! Chavi has taken the veil from our eyes...She has stripped us of our delusions...She connects us to the essential side of life...She Blesses us to know what is real... only Hashem is real...only His Will is real...and nothing that we "own" is real...She has Blessed us with a reprieve from the ordinary...an opportunity, if we seize it...to see into the Divine...to see into the indestructible nature of a Jew. Never give up! Never give up! shouted Rabbanu HaKodesh, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, with his last ounce of strength. Never, ever give up!
It is good to be a zebrochener mentch, (a broken person) says the Kutzker Rebbe. "There is nothing as whole as a broken heart," he says. A Lev Nishbar, a broken heart is the truest path. It is the path of the wise. Let us follow in the ways of this Holy woman for Hashem has certainly sent her to us for our own Salvation, Amen.
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Dr. Zev Ballen, LCSW has been a practicing psychotherapist for 32 years. He is licensed in Israel and the State of New York. Zev has the endorsements of prominent Gadolei Yisrael such as the Nikolsburger Rebba, Shlita, Reb Yitzchok Fagelstock, Shlita, The Kasaner Rebbe of Forshay, Shlita, Rav Shalom Arush, Shlita, and Rabbi Lazer Brody, Shlita. He resides with his family in Jerusalem where he learns in Rav Arush’s Kollel and maintains a part-time practice. You can write to Dr. Zev Ballen at: email@example.com or call him at: 845-362-8600 (US line) or 054-840-9499 (Israeli line). You're welcome to visit Dr. Zev's personal blog, Emuna Therapy.