Baba Sali – Stories about Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeira

Ashkenazim and Sephardim, secular and observant, male and female, old and young of every generation, all should get in Baba Sali’s door, the great tsaddik and kabbalist in the land of Netivot, he is asking for some help and miracle from us. All of us, without any deviation, held Baba Sali to the highest level of admiration and respect.

Eliyahu, a brave male, came from the city of Holon, who was planned to cut off his legs. He spent so many months, weeks, days and hours inside a hospital, and was settled to his fortune. The process was to bring him to his place during Friday morning.

The day before Friday, the knowledgeable old woman stated to him that he was given by Baba Sali the prayers and blessing before his surgery. She once uttered that she had an old friend that was paralyzed as well, and through the blessing of Baba Sali, he was treated and lived his normal life. But after all the time, Eli was inattentive, yet he still decided to give it a try because of his despair. He was hoping that maybe, maybe a miracle will be granted for him.

That Thursday afternoon, it was the day prior the surgery of Eli, and it wouldn’t be possible for Eli and his family to have the consent on leaving the hospital. Thus, Eli slipped out and didn’t even divulge all of his consciousness to meet Baba Sali.

Eli took a seat along the waiting area beside the door of the room of the tsaddik and kabbalist. After long hours, finally, he will surely meet the greatest tsaddik and kabbalist. The practice is simple. Before saying your concern with Baba Sali, you are required to kiss the hand of Baba Sali. But since the legs of Eli have the thrombosis and with association with the paralyzing pain, he didn’t do the custom, he couldn’t raise his legs to get in the room of Baba Sali.

Rabbanit Simi, the wife of Baba Sali, was commanded to proceed toward Eli and then asked these questions, “Do you say blessings? Do you observe Sabbath? Do you wear your tefillin?” Eli admitted that he didn’t do at least one out of all these things. After answering the question of Rabbanit Simi honestly, Eli cried out loud.

Because of the suffering and sincerity that Eli is feeling, the greatest tsaddik and kabbalist seem to be stirred. Baba Sali say these phrases in front of Eli, “If you do my will and observe the Sabbath and repent completely, then God too, will listen to my will.”

With such emotions in every word that Baba Sali said to Eli, he punctually cried and said, “I accept upon myself the obligation to observe the Sabbath in all its details. I also promise to do full Teshuvah, to return in repentance all the way.

Through the direction of Baba Sali, his wife served a tea for Eli. After drinking the tea, the wife of Baba Sali suggested to Eli that he must try to stand up, because of the blessing of the greatest tsaddik and kabbalist. This is because Eli should go closer to Baba Sali and kiss his hands.

After the so much pain and effort of Eli, he still managed to stand up. He couldn’t fathom the miracle happened to him. Both of his legs have the strength to walk again! With his shaking legs, he still managed to go towards Baba Sali to kiss his hands. Because of the miracle that gave him shocked him and gave happiness, he started to show his gratitude to Baba Sali with all his heart and soul. Baba Sali interrupted Eli, and say these words with a smiling face, “Don’t thank me, Just say: Blessed are those who sanctify His name publicly!”

Because Eli thinks that it was just a dream, he slips out of the entry and went down to the ladder. Through walking like this, he is just making sure that this is truly a miracle and not just a dream. He asked himself; am I awake? Are these true? With every step he took, his legs feel better and better.

For the “new” pair of legs that the Lord God has given to him, he immediately goes to a nearby place called Yeshiva HaNegev, and this area is not that far from Baba Sali’s home. When some of the students find out that miracle to Eli, they happily dance and sing around him, singing the words of gratitude and praise to the Lord God.

Feeling the happiness he had because of the miracle he had, Eli came back to Baba Sali’s home to say his gratitude again and as well as to say goodbye. He also stated to Baba Sali that he is still afraid that it one day his legs will return on its disease and weakness. And Baba Sali soothed him, saying these words joyfully, “Don’t worry. In the merit of your oath to ‘return’ and repent, and especially that you promised to observe Shabbat according to its laws, which is equal to all the commandments, G d has done this miracle and nullified the decree against you. Now it is up to you to fulfill your words.

After leaving the house of Baba Sali, Eli immediately ring his wife saying, “I am all better!” with the happiness on his voice. His wife thinks that because of his fear to his operation, he loses his mind in the real world, and she asks her husband with concern, “Are you coming home or will you go straight to the hospital?”

Then, Eli said to his wife about the miracle gave him by the Lord God through His instrument, Baba Sali. After ending his call, Eli immediately talked to his physician at the Echilov Hospital located within Tel Aviv to tell him that his disease was already treated. Eli’s doctor said to Eli that he must stop his craziness and be back to the hospital as soon as possible.

The other day, Eli followed the instruction of his doctor and went to the hospital where he diagnosed. His doctor couldn’t believe upon the facts and evidence on what Eli told him yesterday. After some examinations, Eli already released in the hospital. He goes back to the home of Baba Sali to thank him again that is the first thing he does after his release to the hospital. The great tsaddik and kabbalist requested his wife to serve seudathodaáh, which means, a thanksgiving meal to the Lord God in giving the miracle to Eli. When both of them finished the meal, the Rav gave a prayer blessing to the water in a bottle and commanded Eli to give it to his doctor. Baba Ali said, “Give this water to your doctor and tell him not to be hasty to cut off legs.”


This story to us is that we must give our whole trust to the Lord God because He is the Greatest among all creatures. He can send miracles to all of His people. This story also teaches us not to give up easily. This world is full of struggles and problems, but all of these problems are just the way of God to make us stronger and braver to face and solve all of these problems. Even how cruel the world is to us, we cannot blame God, because he knows everything, He knows your past, your present, and your future. Just trust Him because I am sure that He had a bigger plan for us. Until you have a stronger connection with God, he will never let you fail. Stay positive and trust the power of the Lord God.

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