Last evening, as has been the custom for almost 20 years, the home of Tammy and Sidney Cohen (partners at 18 Restaurant) was once again the center for a gathering of a diverse group of people. We came to commemorate the anniversary of Rabbi Meir Ba’al Haness’ departure from this world. On such an occasions we give tzedakah in the Sage’s name as we pour our hearts out to the Almighty about our most urgent needs.
After Ma’ariv, each person lit his/her candle and proceeded to make their personal request starting with the well known formula, “Eloka d’Meir aneni – Lord of Meir, answer me…”
The table was laden with various trays of rice, chicken, fish, beef, meat balls and salads; as everyone grabbed a bite, the speaker regaled us with divrey Torah.
HaRav Yechiel Azoulay, spoke eloquently and with humor on the question of why Rabbi Meir was known as Ba’al Haness. Doesn’t every Jew have a personal miracle story he can tell? Why has only Rabbi Meir merited the added title?
Rav Azoulay told over a personal story of a miracle Hashem did for his own family (when the Rosh Yeshiva was merely 6 years old, as the family expected to leave Morocco for Israel), a story that showed Hashem had saved a whole family without the need to invoke Rabbi Me’ir‘s help. He then proceeded to tell the story of his brother’s childless marriage (for many years), how Rabbi Meir’s intercession helped when Israel’s top doctors were unable to. Of course, as expected, his brother is a now proud father of a boy named… Meir!
Harav Azoulay explained that the reason for Rabbi Meir being singled out with the addition of Ba’al HaNess is because as long as one precedes his/her personal request with “Eloka d’Meir aneni,” and the person truly seeks the Almighty’s help that request will be always be honored.
An inspiring evening, Eloka d’Meir anenU! God of Meir, answer US all!