On Wednesday, Elul 6, 5736 (September 1, 1976), I suddenly felt unwell displaying symptoms consistent with jaundice. The doctor diagnosed me with hepatitis, a serious illness that, he said, should take twelve months to totally heal. We immediately informed the Rebbe – via telephone – who remarked that it was no such thing. Needless to say, the Rebbe was quite correct. Within a week, the jaundice had completely disappeared. But, I was still running a high temperature every night of 103 degrees.

I finally consulted a specialist who informed me that I had an infected gall bladder that must be operated on at once. We again telephoned 770. The Rebbe’s reply was that if my brother (who is a doctor) says that the operation was necessary, then it should be done straight away.

This was definitely a little surprising because, with medical questions, the Rebbe usually advises to seek a second medical opinion.


My operation took place in October.

Shortly before that I received the following telegram from the Rebbe:

Within a couple of weeks I had, thank G‑d, recovered from the operation and was back at home. The surgeon revealed to me that the gall bladder had actually ruptured; but, fortunately, the eruption was contained by a layer of fat which prevented the infection from spreading. So the operation was performed “just in time!”

A few weeks after the operation, when I was already back at work, I received a letter from the Rebbe dated 11th of Cheshvan, 5737 [November 4, 1976]:

...I trust that by the time this letter reaches you, you will have been discharged from your job as a patient requiring care and attention, and instead of this, I can now offer you ten other jobs, [the ten mivtzoim. –Ed.] as enumerated in the enclosed general message – needless to say, with the approval of your physician-friend.

May G‑d grant that you should have good news to report in all above.

The three last “jobs” in the letter are, of course, more pertinent to Mrs. Jaffe, but also in these you can have a share, by encouraging her and others through her.

Wishing you and Mrs. Jaffe good health to carry out the above tasks in a way that inspires the whole community to do likewise, based on the mitzvah of V’ohavto L’reacho Komocho [love your fellow as yourself], and to enjoy true Yiddish Chasidish Nachas from all your children and grandchildren.