A Jew reciting Tehillim. Art by Chana Voola
A Jew reciting Tehillim. Art by Chana Voola

There lived a young man in Dubrovna by the name of Feivish Henech. At the age of 16 he decided to stop up his ears so no sound should reach him, and cover his eyes so no sight should disturb him, and spent his days in prayer, reciting Psalms from memory. So he became known as Feibish Henech the Hermit.

There lived in Poland a cruel squire who heard about this hermit, and wanted to make a mockery of him. The squire sent his servant to bring Feivish to him. When the servant returned without the hermit, claiming he had been too frightened to approach the holy man, the wicked squire had him whipped. Surprisingly, the servant walked away from the whipping without even a scratch

The squire sent a second servant, who said he had tried to speak to Feivish, but it was as if he did not hear. He even tried whipping him, shouting, and cursing, for hours, but to no avail. No one could go near this holy man to make himself heard. The squire had him whipped for not bringing the hermit to his estate, and this servant was badly hurt.

Enraged, the wicked squire himself set off to the synagogue. When he arrived, the rav warned him that no one could approach or speak to this holy man. The squire ignored him and stepped directly in front of the hermit. He took out his whip but suddenly an excruciating pain shot through his arm. He realized his mistake and tried to apologize, but the pain persisted, and still the hermit could not hear him. The squire left in agony, yet Feivish Henech continued to pray, unaware of all that had transpired.

Shortly thereafter, a group of women who had not been blessed with children began fundraising to build a new synagogue with special accommodations for Feivish Henech. All these women then bore children.

This piece is my rendition of Feivish Henech saying Tehillim for women to have children. It is from Psalm 128 and means, “Your wife will be as a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.”

(Source: The Lubavitcher Rebbe's memoirs.)