A heavy rain fell, accompanied by claps of thunder and flashes of lightning. People scurried through the streets, looking for shelter.
Only a large contingent of Chassidim seemed to walk as though nothing was coming down from the sky. They looked relaxed, at peace, and they sang a joyous niggun. From their reaction to the weather, it looked as though the rain skipped over them and wasn’t drenching them.
It was Shavuos 5748/1988. On the stoop of 770 were masses of Chassidim singing enthusiastically and clapping. Nobody paid attention to the storm. The atmosphere was uplifting and heartwarming. The crowd then broke up into groups, each group with its own destination. They were heading to neighborhoods near and far from Crown Heights. They would visit shuls and share thoughts of Chassidus with the people there.
Some of the groups had only a twenty or thirty minute walk, but a few groups had a much longer hike, up to four hours each way!
Upon returning, full of chayus from Tahalucha, the Rebbe greeted them at the entrance of 770 with great joy.
The Chassidim would start singing with great excitement and the Rebbe would encourage the singing for a long time. “V’Samachta B’Chagecha!” What simcha there was! Such an elevation of spirit, that one did not feel one’s body, and the crowding was not disturbing.
Afterward, when the Chassidim farbrenged amongst themselves, they told one another their Tahalucha experiences. The following is the story of one of the Tahalucha groups:
They were five bachurim who walked over an hour each way, to Boro Park. When they arrived at the shul, they did not sit down to rest from the long walk and they did not expect a drink. They immediately got to work, sharing Torah and simcha with the congregants.
The rabbi of the shul was welcoming. He looked at their coats in disbelief. “You walked so far in the rain?! Such mesirus nefesh?”
The Chassidim smiled. “The main thing is our effort should be worthwhile. Please allow us to review a sicha of the Rebbe.”
“Gladly!” said the rabbi and he shushed the crowd and introduced the special guests.
One of the bachurim reviewed a sicha of the Rebbe about the joy of Shavuos. The people listened closely. When he was finished, one of the men rose and said he had a story to tell. This is what he said:
It was 5719 and my young son Yitzchok did not feel well. We thought he might have a virus or the flu so we got some medicine for him but as the days passed he only felt worse. When the doctor saw that he was not improving, he sent us for tests to see what the problem was.
Then came the terrible news. Yitzchok, our delightful little boy, who up until a few weeks before was perfectly healthy, was sick with cancer.
He underwent a series of difficult treatments. His body did not react well and his condition worsened.
One day, the doctor saw us in his office. It looked as though he was about to tell us bad news. “Listen,” he said as he cleared his throat. “Your son is quite sick. We tried to heal him to the best of our ability but …” He sighed. “The way it looks now, he does not have more than a month to live.”
My wife and I were stunned. We looked at the doctor pleadingly, let the doctors try something… but they said they had tried everything. We left his office in despair but we were unwilling to make peace with what we had been told.
A few days later, a friend saw me and the look on my face and he suggested, “Why don’t you ask the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a bracha? Although you are not a Chassid of his, still, the Rebbe is known to do miracles. What do you have to lose?”
On Motzaei Shavuos I went to 770 and I stood on line for Kos shel Bracha. “Rebbe,” I pleaded with tears in my eyes, “my son Yitzchok is very sick and the doctors don’t give him more than a month…”
The Rebbe looked at me lovingly and said, “Regarding the Giving of the Torah it says that Hashem held the mountain over the Jewish people like a barrel. In other words, Hashem forced the Jewish people to accept the Torah. ‘If you don’t accept the Torah, there will be your graves!’”
I listened closely, trying to understand what this had to do with my son’s condition. The Rebbe continued, “Why should it say what would happen if the Jewish people did not accept the Torah? It could have said, ‘And if you accept the Torah joyously, then it will be the exact opposite of “there will be your graves” – you will have length of days and good years.”
I immediately understood what the Rebbe was saying. It was not necessary to talk about the worst of all. There would be length of days and good years for my son Yitzchok.
I returned home encouraged and told my wife what happened. My wife was always a woman with a strong faith in tzaddikim and she accepted what the Rebbe said and looked forward to good news.
The next day, the good news began to come in. The doctors suddenly discovered that his condition had improved and he was reacting well to the medication. It was a medical miracle! The doctors had no natural explanation as to why things had changed for the good. A short while later, Yitzchok returned home healthy.
Thirty years have already passed and Yitzchok is strong and healthy as though he was never sick.
Since then, said the man, every year, when Shavuos comes, I remember our miracle and in my heart I truly feel the Kabbalas Ha’Torah. Thanks to the Rebbe, on the day of Kabbalas Ha’Torah, we received the life of my son as a gift.