Rav Eliyahu’s Rescue and the Power of Prayer


rav-mordechai-eliyahuWhen Rav Mordechai Eliyahu first became a dayan in Be’er Sheva, in 1957, his was the only rabbinical court in the entire south, between Eilat and Be’er Sheva. On his first day on the job, he saw a woman standingoutside, praying from a small Tehillim. She remained outside all day.

The next day, the rabbi saw the same thing, and the next day again, and so on.

Finally, he asked the court secretary to ask her to come in. He asked her why she stood outside and prayed all day, and she related in all innocence: ‘I came on Aliyah [immigration to Israel] from Morocco by myself, and they sent me to Be’er Sheva. I asked where the closest rabbinical court was, I was told it was here, and so here I am.’

He asked her, “What are you praying for?” and the woman said, “My husband in Morocco was a taxi driver, and a week after we were married, at the end of the Sheva Brachot [the seven days of wedding festivities], he crashed – and his body was never found… After a while, I went to the rabbis to be declared a widow so that I could remarry, but they said that without a body, they could not be certain that he was dead – and so I remained a ‘chained woman’ [aguna, unable to marry]. But when I came to Israel, I had faith that what the rabbinical courts in Morocco could not accomplish [in permitting me to remarry], the courts in Israel would be able to do.”

Rabbi Eliyahu asked, “So why did you remain outside the court? Why didn’t you come in to the dayanim?”

The woman said, “Who are you? I pray to G-d, not to you!”

Rabbi Eliyahu immediately took up her case. He took all her papers and went to the Baba Sali, who told him of his brother, the Baba Haki, a leading rabbi in the Israeli city of Ramle who was familiar with all those engaged in Jewish burials in Morocco. Rabbi Eliyahu traveled to Ramle, where the Baba Haki told him, “There were only two Jewish kavranim [people engaged in burials] in Morocco, and both have since come to Israel. One lives in Dimona and one lives in Kiryat Ata [near Haifa].”

Rabbi Eliyahu said, “I live in the south, so I might as well try Dimona.” He went to the exact address supplied to him by the Baba Haki – only to find that the man’s family was sitting shiva for him; he had died just a few days earlier.

Quite disappointed, Rabbi Eliyahu went in anyway, shared some words of Torah and solace with the mourning family and friends, and explained why he was there. Immediately, a man jumped up and said, “I am the other kavran, and I know that story! I was the one who buried the taxi driver!”

Rabbi Eliyahu asked him to accompany come him to other rabbis, who questioned him and determined that his testimony was acceptable. Rabbi Eliyahu convened the rabbinical court, and the woman was declared “unchained” and permitted to remarry.

“This is the power of prayer,” Rabbi Eliyahu later said, “both hers and mine.”

{Arutz Shevah}

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. there’s something about this story that’s missing, why didnt the “kavran” notify the wife that he was burying her husband?

  2. Amazing story and knowing what the power of Tefilla can do. May Rav Eliyahu Z’TL be a melitz yashar for all Am Yisrael! May we all be zocher for the Geulah Shelayma be karov !!!!!