There’s something I’ve been wanting. Badly. For a long time. One of those deep life-long-pining kind of wants. Sorry, not going to share what it is here in the blogosphere. Not yet, at least. Not until I get it firm in my grip.
But suffice it to say, it’s shiny and grand and dream-worthy. Oh, and another thing…it’s entirely out of my reach. Or at least, that’s what I believed. Until a few weeks back. When suddenly the universe got a whole lot friendlier and the Power of Prayer once again proved herself to be ‘Limitations’ most formidable enemy.
You see, I live in the heart of Jerusalem…just down the street from this quirky little cemetery. Quirky because you would just never expect to happen upon a graveyard at the foot of the Supreme Court just catty-corner to the Knesset. But there it is, flanked by the odoriferous Gan Sacher dog park and a bird observatory.
But even more remarkable is that this unassuming cemetery houses a tzadik. And what a tzadik! – The Zviller Rebbe.
The story goes that circa 2008 this Rebbe came to one of his descendants in a dream and told her that if people come pray at his grave then he will give them heavenly assistance in the speedy answering of their prayers. So said relative spread the good word. Prayerful people showed up to see what this newcomer on the kivrei-tzadik-circuit had going and sure enough the miracle stories started accumulating.
Since then the grave-site has become a small Disney Land for prayer enthusiasts. And you’re about to see why.
But first, back to me and my seemingly unattainable dream.
There I was doing my morning Cardio-and-Kvetch walk through Gan Sacher park with a friend. We spent an hour brainstorming ways for me to manifest my wishful reality. As we parted she said in passing, “Hey, it’s Monday. Why don’t you go pray by the tzadik in the park?”
But of course! Why should it be that I have a laundry list to my knees of action items for the manifestation of this reality but prayer was nowhere on the to-do list?
And so I put prayer as my primary Must-Do. I footed up the hill, past the Knesset, the birds, the Supreme Court and into the cemetery. Expecting to see, well, a cemetery.
But au contraire.
And here was where the Disney Land vibe came in. It felt like I had stepped through the turn-style and was suddenly off on Mr. Toads Wild Prayer Ride.
You see, upon arrival I was greeted by a banquet of treats laid out on a table. Ice-cold juice and cherries, rugalach and honey cake, raisins & dates. Wistful prayer-goers milled around noshing happily while reading the walls.
Yes, reading the walls. For the decor here was wallpaper-made-of-miracles. The walls were literally plastered with the wild and wonderful scribblings of sacred testimony. Hundreds of *ThaNks and pRaiSe* proclamations that Yes G!d is great and praying by the Zviller had been the key to the answering of their prayers.
I jumped right in to the party; started noshing and blessing and amen-ing and jiving with the scene. Somewhere someone blew a shofar. The birds sang, the dogs barked, the Supreme Court meted out justice. A helicopter ascended from the Knesset landing pad. The promise of answered prayers was palpable.
Now, as a gal who has gone beseechingly to my share of gravesides I will tell you what I love most about this one. This Wild Prayer Ride has its own set of rules. The Zviller has a unique prescription for how to make the prayer-machine move.
They were laid out for me by the picturesque Sephardi safta poised at the entrance. She instructed me lavishly, waving her Book of Tehillim in her left hand with her right palm outstretched for coins.
Here’s the prescription:
- First, come on a Monday or Thursday. Commit to the full cycle of 3 – Mon/Thrs/Mon or Thrs/Mon/Thrs. Pick ONE issue you want to pray for. Focus in. Chose your one most essential hope.
- Partake of the feast upon entry. Say blessings over each type of treat. Loudly. Receive everyone’s hearty Amens. Do the same for them. Read with gusto the after-blessing printed out in massive lettering above the food. Exchange some more Amens.
- Thoroughly take in the testimonies covering the walls. These are real life reminders that “Yes this will work!” This is the psychic code for convincing your unconscious to open up to the reality-warping power of Positive Belief. — Feel the tzadik-juice flow and the sugar-high kick in.
- As you approach the grave itself locate the specially designed pamphlet of prayers. It contains a mixed bouquet of Psalms plus the specific Tehillim that spell out the letters of the Rebbe’s name. Read fervently and in its entirety. (Takes about 40 minutes depending on your Psalm-speed.)
- Take a rock from one of the well stocked rock-buckets near the grave. Hold it in your left hand. Place that left hand on the grave itself and pray – focused and ferocious – for your singular desired result. Plant the rock on the grave before shuffling backwards and away.
- Light a candle. Tea-lights and matches are generously provided. Add yours to the shimmering dozens already lit up by previous supplicants. Keep up your prayer. Believe it will simply and naturally become a reality. Pray and repeat, pray and repeat.
- Seal the deal with tzedaka. Chose your adventure – the pushkie at the graveside, or the eager palms of schnorers awaiting you at the exit.
- Commit to returning after your prayer has been answered to throw your own celebration party; replete with delectables to be blessed. You WILL bring your own carefully written up testimony of your miracle story to add to the hundreds already lining the walls. Be as elaborate as possible in advertising your miracle. Frame it. Provide photos, memorabilia, more cookies. Feed that positivity back in to the space.
Halleluyah for instructions! I enthusiastically followed the prescribed steps with a bone-deep belief that yes, this fairy dust, this prayery dust, will work.
An hour later I got off the ride and stumbled out into the street. Slightly reeling, the way you feel when you step out of a movie theater back into the light of day.
But this time I allowed myself to believe that it was a new day. That something essential in the fabric of reality had indeed changed.
What do you think?
Better believe it, dear reader.
For sure enough…I am happy to share…
I received an email
— the VERY NEXT DAY.
An unexpected email. A shocking and delightful and dumbfounding email.
An email informing me that my prayed-for-thing would very likely and in the not too distant future be granted, most grandly, most graciously.
I flung around my limbs. I grinned and gasped and kicked like a kid.
Went back for my next two prayer days. That final visit I did take a cake of appreciation. Even found out that that the Zviller’s yahrzeit is the same day as my birthday. Ahh, sweet destiny.
Though it will still be some time before this new newly granted gift reality will come to the ground, I think it is safe to say it is on the way. Poo poo poo, blee ayin harah and an enormous thank you to the authors of that email (you know who you are)!
As an appreciation of my thanks I want to offer up to return for another 3 day stint as a shaliyach – a messenger – for YOUR prayers.
So, nu, what do you want me to pray for for you!?!?
It would be my honor to beseech for you at this auspicious time & place!
What to do:
– SEND me your name and 1 thing to pray for. Preferably your Hebrew name and the Hebrew name of your mother. Either post it below or send me a private email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. My 1 thing will be the answering of this collection of prayers.
– SHARE this story and commit to sharing YOUR story when that prayer comes to full manifestation!
– TZEDAKA. I’ll give at the grave but you also give in honor that your prayer be answered via the heavenly assist of the Zviller Rebbe. The Tzadik of Gan Sacher!
– BELIEVE that it can be and ACT on that belief. If you want to lose 50 pounds go ahead and buy those size 6 pants. Go buy the baby carriage if what you want is a baby. I know it feels risky. Like you might get let-down if you take that leap. But you have to believe if you hope to receive!
May all of our highest wishes be answered for the best. May they be answered fast, fantastic and as a dramatic testimony to the truth that prayer works, G!d is great and anything is possible with the elbow grease of a helpful tzadik and our sweet Belief!