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ופתחת עליו פתוחי חתם קדש לד'

And you shall engrave upon it, engrave like a signet ring Holy to Hashem. (28:36)

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The Tzitz Hakodesh was a Head-Plate inscribed with the words Kodesh l’Hashem, Holy to Hashem, that was worn by the Kohen Gadol. These words were engraved on the Head-Plate similar to a signet ring.

Pituchei chosam – “engraved like a signet ring” is used by the Gaon m’Vilna as an allusion to a statement made by Chazal. “Three keys (mafteichos, which have the same root word as pituchei) were not given to man. They remain in the domain of the Almighty (Only He can “open the door” to these events). They are: chayah, to give life to a child, the key to fertility – a chayah is also a midwife; Techiyas HaMeisim, the Resurrection of the Dead; matar, the blessing of rain. These three events are alluded in the word chosam: cheis – chayah; taf – techiyas hameisim; mem – matar. They are all Kodesh l’Hashem, Holy to Hashem. Only He has the key to them.

I came across an incredible story which demonstrates the power invested in a tzaddik, holy and righteous person, to petition Hashem on behalf of a supplicant. Horav Aharon Rokeach, zl, the Admor m’Belz, took a trip to Lishensk, so that he could pray at the grave of the Noam Elimelech. The Rebbe would have to spend two nights in Lishensk. As a result, his attendants sought out suitable hospitality for him. They selected the home of one of the community’s distinguished leaders as an appropriate place for the Rebbe to reside. The Belzer entered the home and, after making a “walk through,” decided that it did not feel right. He did not have a secure spiritual feeling about the home. Apparently, it lacked the correct holy atmosphere required for such a saintly person.

As the Rebbe prepared to leave, a young boy about ten years of age, blocked his passage. “Please Rebbe, stay in my home,” the child pleaded. “Since my family is wealthy, I have my own room. I am sure that my room will measure up to the Rebbe’s standards.” The boy was on the floor, lying by the tzaddik’s feet, preventing him from leaving.

The Rebbe listened to the boy and walked back to his room. Apparently, whatever had troubled him earlier, was no longer of concern. The room was suitable for him. The Rebbe stayed in Lishensk for two days and nights, using the boy’s room for his hospitality.

Years passed. The Holocaust took its terrible toll on European Jewry. The Rebbe was spared, and he escaped to Eretz Yisrael. The young boy, who was now an adult, miraculously survived the war and also came to Eretz Yisrael. The Rebbe was visiting Tel Aviv, and throngs of Jews came to visit him. They came to petition his blessing, to ask him to intercede with the Heavenly Tribunal on their behalf. This young man was among those who came to ask the Rebbe for a blessing. He had been married a number of years and had yet to be blessed with a child.

When it was his turn to enter the Rebbe’s room, he gave the Rebbe a kvitel, paper with his request written on it, and then told the Rebbe that he was that ten-year old young boy in whose room the Rebbe had slept. The Rebbe listened and said two words: “Two nights, two children.”

The man was blessed with two G-d-fearing sons who were greatly successful in Torah study. Indeed, to whichever endeavor they turned, their success quotient was unusual. Hashem had “turned the key.”

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