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Rabbi Ben E. Diction

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Topic: Blessing from a Tzaddik

Name@Withheld from Thornhill, Canada wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

I recently got a blessing from a Chassidic Rabbi. This blessing was quite astonishing (in a good way). What is the significance of a blessing from a Chassidic Rabbi?

Dear Name@Withheld,

In our prayers we say G-d "does the will of those who fear Him." As our Sages teach: A tzaddik (righteous person) decrees, and Hashem fulfills. Also: "Anyone who has a sick person in his household should go to a chacham (a wise person) to pray for him."

Grand Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz (the "Bostoner Rebbe") says that a Chassidic Rabbi is in many respects like a plumber. Hashem wants only to bestow goodness upon us, and all a person needs to do is make himself into a vessel to receive the good. But our bad deeds "jam up" the pipes through which Divine goodness flows. A Chassidic Rabbi "unclogs" these pipes for the person.

A righteous person has a power of prayer more than most of us. Torah scholars (Chassidic or not) who have virtually perfected their character are known to have such powers. Until his passing several years ago, tens of thousands flocked to Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (the "Steipler") for his blessing.

It's known that prior to their highly dangerous but successful air strike on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1980, the Israeli pilots appeared before the Steipler and asked for his blessing. He told them "go in peace and return in peace."


  • Bava Batra 116a
  • Ta'anit 23a

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