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Are You Eliyahu Hanavi?

A miraculous story about The Baba Sally and Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L


Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l

Shvat 3 5782
Rabbanit Tzviyah, the rabbi's wife, once related that when her husband was a dayan in Jerusalem, someone from southern Israel came to visit the Eliyahus' home. As the man was preparing to leave, Rabbi Eliyahu thought of joining him in his car to go visit the Baba Sali. He broached the topic with his wife, saying they could return by bus.
She checked the bus schedule and saw that it would work if they could be in Ramle on time to catch the eleven o'clock bus back to Jerusalem. Catching that Ramle bus meant, however, that they would have to leave Netivot on an eight o'clock bus that night. They decided to make the trip, riding with their visitor.
They arrived at the Baba Sali's home, which at the time was in a regular apartment block. The Baba Sali's wife greeted them at the door, apologizing that she couldn't invite them in to see her husband. Rabbanit Tzviyah was deeply disappointed that they had made the whole trip in vain. But her distress was short-lived: The Baba Sali called to his wife, instructing her to let the Eliyahus enter. "I've been waiting for Rabbi Mordechai for days already!" he exclaimed.
The Baba Sali's wife opened the door, waving them in. Rabbi Eliyahu went into the Baba Sali's room and Rabbanit Tzviyah sat down with the Baba Sali's wife, who began to weep. "My husband hasn't eaten this entire week — since the end of Shabbat. He said there's a terrible, heavy decree hanging over the Jewish people, and he's been fasting to annul it. Please ask your husband to persuade him to eat. He hasn't eaten for five days already!"
After some time had passed, the door to the Baba Sali's room opened, and the two rabbis came out. The Baba Sali's face was shining as he said to his wife, "The decree has been canceled! Let's eat with our guests."
His wife immediately set the table and served a beautiful meal. The two rabbis sang and praised G-d. But at seven-thirty Rabbanit Tzviyah began to signal to her husband to finish and say Birkat Hamazon (the blessing after meals); they needed to leave in time to catch the eight o'clock bus out of Netivot.
Although the Baba Sali was sitting far from Rabbanit Tzviyah, he seemed to know what she was saying. He instructed Rabbi Eliyahu, "Tell your wife not to worry. You'll get back to Jerusalem in good time." He continued the meal for another hour, singing and praising the Holy One. They finally said the blessing after meals and finished the meal. It was eight-thirty at night, long after the bus to Ramle had come and gone.
When they left the Baba Sali's house, Rabbi Eliyahu said to his wife, "Come, we'll take the late bus to Ramle and see what we can do from there."
"The bus that leaves now doesn't get to Ramle until eleven-thirty — half an hour after the last bus from Ramle departs for Jerusalem," she said.
"Never mind," Rabbi Eliyahu replied. "At least we'll be closer to Jerusalem."
They took the eight-thirty bus to Ramle, arriving there at eleven-thirty. "Let's see what's happening with the bus to Jerusalem," Rabbi Eliyahu suggested.
"It was supposed to leave at eleven," his wife responded. "I don't think we should bother."
But Rabbi Eliyahu was insistent. They went to the bus stop and saw that, lo and behold, the bus to Jerusalem was sitting there, full of passengers.
"Can we board?" Rabbi Eliyahu asked the driver.
"There's no point," he answered. "The bus won't start."
"So what are all the passengers doing here?" Rabbi Eliyahu asked.
"Well, they already paid, so they're waiting it out. But there's no point in boarding. The bus has broken down."
"We're getting on anyway," Rabbi Eliyahu said, climbing on the bus with his wife. They settled into their seats and then Rabbi Eliyahu said to the driver, "Try starting the engine again."
The driver turned his key in the ignition — and to everyone's amazement, the bus started right away, even though it hadn't worked for the past half-hour.
"What, are you Eliyahu Hanavi?" the driver exclaimed, eying his passenger warily.
"No," the rabbi said. "I'm Eliyahu Mordechai.
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