Arraba, Lower Galilee…Israelis from across the religious spectrum are preparing to mark the “Yom Hilulah” (yahrzeit) of the celebrated tanna, Reb Chanina ben Dosa on Friday Iyar 26 (May 27). Chanina Bni (bni.org.il), an organization dedicated to keeping the legacy of the great tanna alive, is preparing to hold special tefillios, especially for people in need of yeshuos on the eve of the yahrzeit as they do weekly on Thursday nights with special learning and davening. Chanina Bni has hundreds of files of people who overcame dire circumstances in life with tefilos at the kever of Chanina ben Dosa.
The effort to mark the yahrzeit is headed by the noted Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Edelstein, the nephew of the well-known Godol Hador, Harav Gershon Edelstein. A group of Chanina Bni volunteers will be davening on the hilulah at the tzion of the tanna who is buried in the Arab village of Arraba. It is located in the Lower Galilee in the Northern District, within the Sakhnin valley. Visitors to the tzion are urged to coordinate their visits with the security forces. The tzion of Reb Chanina ben Dosa and his wife is undergoing renovations to facilitate easier access.
The holy Tanna Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was known for his supernatural abilities to effect results that are well beyond the natural course. He was meticulously devoted to celebrating the Shabbos and when he and his wife did not seem to have the necessary food for Shabbos, he was somehow able to fill the void. Similarly, he was concerned with other Jews who did not have enough food to make Shabbos.
To continue his legacy, Chanina Bni goes to the Arab village of Arraba every Thursday night to recite special tefillos for those in need. The funds that are raised from people who register their predicaments with Chanina Bni are used to help poor people and Kollel yungeleit with food for Shabbos. After all, proper observance of the Shabbos was one of the signature traits of the legendary tanna.
The Chanina Bni organization has hundreds of files of people who were miraculously helped by the tfilos on the tzion of Reb Chanina ben Dosa. These are people who register their dilemmas with the organization which davens for salvation for those people every Thursday evening. Other volunteers are busy supplying the necessary food and other items for Shabbos to Kollel yungeleit and people who cannot afford to make Shabbos.
The day of the hilulah of the Tanna, which is on the 26th of Iyar, will take place this year on a Friday. There will be special tefillos for people in need of yeshuos. The mailbag of people who have been helped outside the natural way is replete with remarkable stories. Reuven was plagued with two major problems: a shidduch and parnassah. Within two weeks of including his name and donating to Chanina Bni, he was able to close a deal that was so elusive, and he found a shidduch. Eliyah’s wife gave birth to a boy with a hearing deficit. The cost of corrective surgery was prohibitive. After registering with Chanina Bni, he was put in contact with an American organization that helps fund such operations, which was subsequently approved.
Many of the letters received by Chanina Bni deal with medical issues where people recount how they were healed beyond the “natural” way. For Rami it was the return of his wallet with a hefty sum of money that was simply an unexpected nes. Remarkably, Reb Chanina ben Dosa who was known as a man of miracles in the times of the gemara, is still hard at work several millennia later helping Jews overcome adversary and celebrating the Shabbos with simcha.
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