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The Prayer Book

A grieving mother makes an amazing discovery at the Western Wall.

A person prays at the Western Wall

Four years ago our 13-year-old son, Boruch, suffering from cystic fibrosis, went to the hospital for a lung transplant. Throughout his illness, I had often turned to my childhood friend, Nechomie, for consolation.

Although she lived in Israel, she gave me support by calling and writing. Before Boruch’s operation she promised to pray for him at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where Jews make solemn petition.

The transplant was successful, and we were able to celebrate Boruch’s Bar Mitzvah. But after a few weeks, my son’s health suddenly deteriorated and he died.

It was almost too much for me to bear when, tragically, Nechomie died in childbirth that same year. I began meeting with other women who had lost children. We grew close and decided to travel to Israel, where I hoped healing would take place.

Near the Western Wall one Saturday night, I searched the small women’s synagogue for a particular book—the prayer book of the Lubavitchers, like the one Nechomie and I had used as children.

Among hundreds, I could not find the prayer book I wanted. Then, on the last shelf, I noticed a large stack of books piled high. I picked up the one on top. Finally! It was exactly what I was looking for.

On the inside page was a handwritten inscription of prayer for Boruch Teldon to have “a speedy recovery.” As amazing to me—and as comforting—was the signature of the one who had petitioned the prayer, my dear friend Nechomie.

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