AIRBORNE SCHOOL STORY|
My unit sent me to Airborne School. So for two weeks we trained and then week three we actually jump from aircraft while in flight. 5 jumps are required for graduation. Monday 2 jumps are done. Tuesday the next 2, and Wednesday is the final jump. However my class fell far behind due to the storm, snow, and ice on the planes. By Friday morning most of us had only 2 jumps completed, some had only 1. The cadre planned to get us through jump 4 on Friday. Saturday would be the final jump followed by graduation.
They knew that I was shomer Shabbos and that I would not come on Saturday. The cadre were extremely respectful and professional and offered me a few options. I would be able to make up the final jump with a different company but would have to wait a couple weeks for that opportunity. If I waited too long I risked having to repeat the 2nd training week. However they were planning to rush me through jump 5 on Friday if possible. I hoped that would work out but explained that I had to leave by 1700 in order to be home by Shabbat.
I completed my 4th jump by 1645. The next jump was preparing to depart and I was told to join it right away. I would complete my 5th jump and all graduation requirements. But alas, there wasn't enough time. There was no way I could jump again and still be home before shkiat hachama.
I explained that I had to go in order to properly welcome the Sabbath. As I turned and walked out I could feel hundreds of eyes upon me. I saw many open jawed faces. They didn't think that I was actually prepared to walk away after the weeks of training and days of sitting in a parachute waiting to jump. I was disappointed to postpone graduation and hoped I would not have to repeat training. At the same time I was proud to be demonstrating a commitment to my faith and knew that it was a kidush hashem.
Motzei Shabbat I called in to hear how graduation went and to learn if any of my friends from the course were still in town. What I heard made me smile in awe. They did not jump on Saturday. Apparently the cloud ceiling was too low to allow for a safe jump. So the entire course was shomer Shabbat that day, sitting in their chutes in wait. The final jump and graduation was scheduled for Sunday morning and B'H I was able to join in. That went off without any problems and I was able to graduate with my class.
Tehillim 148:8 "Fire and hail, snow and vapor, storm-wind, all fulfilling his word."
This story happened a few years ago in the city of Shiraz, Iran. As you know, in 80's Iran was involved in a war with iraq. I remember that a lot of young people were drafted for the military services everyday, among them jewish youths. One of my fiends, Mr. B., was drafted for the military services. He was given an office task as an accountant. Meanwhile, he would have to participate in all the military learning sessions in order to prepare himself for the war. One day he was sitting in the class room with over 300 other Moslem soldiers and learning about the mine fields and neutralizing the mines. Suddenly, some body comes into the class room and asks Mr. B. to go to the office for a very important matter. When he walks into his General office, the General slaps him on his face telling him," You dirty Jew have made a mistake in your calculations. You are even unable to keep the tract of simple data, and I'm gonna make you pay for this." While they were arguing about this matter, they heard a sound of massive explossion. While Mr. B. was in the office of his boss, a mine in the classroom blastered, killing every single person in that room. However, Hashgacha Protist protected Mr. B. Mr. B. is currently a Hebrew teacher in Shiraz, Iran.
THE HOLY MIKVEH THAT ALMOST WASN'T.
My family and I have recently moved to a small town in Northern Minnesota (Duluth), which, while it claims to have an "orthodox" synagogue, hasn't had a mikveh (chalilah) for many more than 30 years; and very few, if any shomer shabbos people. So instead of involving ourselves in working with this congregation, we bought a piece of property and immediately began building a mikveh and a learning center, for the people who are so distanced from their heritage.
As you may know, the concrete for a mikveh must be poured in one continuous pour, to make a "monolithic" basin. On the day we were to make the final and continuous pour which would "make or break the mikveh halackically", the concrete trucks rolled up. We began our pour 40,000 lbs of concrete. About 2/3 of the way done, the engineer came to me and said,"Rabbi, there's been some mistake, we must have miscalculated. There is only 3 cubic yards of concrete left, not enought to finish the pour."
I told the engineer, "Pour every drop of concrete out and we'll daven -- it's all we can do." In the mean time, I ran into the Beis Medrash and got English copies of Tehillim for all the Non-Jewish workers and Hebrew copies for the Jews, and said, "Everyone start reading Tehillim, until the last drop of concrete comes out of that truck!" If we would not have had the correct amount, the mikveh would not have been Kosher.
Miraculously, like the oil of Chanukah that burned for eight days, the concrete continued to flow from the truck. Just as the level of the concrete rose to the point where we would have had them shut down the machine, the truck shuttered to a stop. It was bone dry. The mikveh was Kosher V'Yosher, Boruch HaShem Yisborach! "I've never seen anything like this, Rabbi, I expected this truck to run dry 20 minutes ago! the engineer said."
Now, tommorrow, B'Ezras HaShem, we put the building up for the Holy Mikveh that almost wasn't. Now it will be the only mikveh for 200 miles; and a center for Jewish Learning and Yiddishkeit in a town that has never had one, with the help of the Bestower of all Blessings.
R. Gershon Aaron
BULLET HOLES PASS HIM BY
Dr. Benzion Allswang is feeling very thankful, after having miraculously survived last Friday's shooting spree in Chicago. Dr. Allswang, the author of a book entitled, "The Final Resolution," which offers a Jewish traditional perspective on the nature of anti-Semitism through the ages, was able to experience this topic first-hand - without even realizing it!
He told Arutz-7's Ron Meir what happened:
"A car pulled up to the curb behind my daughter and I as we were walking to synagogue. Suddenly, a very loud noise came from the car. At first, I thought that since it was the 4th of July weekend, he was some sort of prankster throwing a firecracker at us, and then I thought it might be a fake gun. I am very near-sighted, and I wasn't wearing my glasses. My frightened daughter ran to the synagogue while I stood there, not knowing what to expect. He pulled up closer to me, to within about 15 feet. I didn't move and didn't make eye contact with him, since I didn't want to show him that I was scared. Then there were another 3 or 4 shots. I felt some wind, but that was the extent of it. He drove off, and I went on to the synagogue."
Mid-way through the service, Allswang decided that it would be a good idea to warn his wife and others "about this prankster who may continue to scare people. Along the way, I saw a police car and told the officers about what happened. They told me that he was no prankster, but a real gunman, and that he had just shot other people." After putting his daughter to bed that night at 11:30, Allswang noticed a hole in his shirt in the vicinity of the abdomen. "This was strange, I thought, since my wife takes very good care of my Shabbat shirts," he noted. "Exactly five minutes later, the police arrived, and I told them the whole story. They asked to see my suit jacket, and lo and behold, there were three bullet holes in my jacket!
It was only then that I realized the full extent of the unbelievable miracle. I recited the special HaGomel ['He who saves'] blessing the next day with more thankfulness and concentration than I'd ever prayed before!"
MY HASHGAHA PRATIT STORY
I am not from an orthodox Jewish background (although I am Jewish) so there is a lot that I don't know about the workings of HaShem, but a number of things have been happening in my life to open my eyes to the miracles and wonders of HaShem. I didn't know the phrase "hashgaha pratit" until I stumbled on your website while surfing the net, but the following story is certainly hashgaha pratit.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I was receiving prenatal care and was told that the pregnancy was going well, with no problems, but in my heart I knew something was wrong, so I called my doctor and requested (insisted) on a second level ultrasound. My doctor complied and found a mass next to the baby, but the doctor told me it's nothing to worry about, since my blood tests were all normal, and "sometimes we see things like this during pregnancy and it doesn't mean anything".
Well, a couple of weeks later, my son was born extremely premature (only 24 weeks, instead of the usual 40 weeks pregnancy) and he weighed only 673 grams (1 pound, 7.5 ounces). That same week I was diagnosed with stage 4 carcinoma--that's what the 'mass' was that showed up on the ultra-sound. On looking back in my records, the doctors found that they had mis-read my earlier blood work lab reports-they were actually very elevated (abnormal) and I really had cancer. So that mistake was the first in a series of 'hashgaha pratit', because if those lab reports had been read accurately, I'm sure they would have convinced me to terminate the pregnancy in order to save my life. Instead I had a precious baby. But the doctors told me the baby would probably die, or be severely retarded, or have heart, neurological, or respiratory difficulties, or would be blind because he was just too early and too tiny--and I also was quite ill with metastatic cancer.
I decided to try to learn how to pray and to try to start to observe some of the mitzvot--I wasn't much of a believer, but our situation was so dire, I figured it couldn't hurt. My baby was discharged from the hospital after 3 months in an incubator, on erev Pesach --this also was hashgaha pratit after all those horrible predictions. I also was able to have a short break from chemotherapy, and we spent two wonderful seders with my parents.
On the third night of Pesach, my baby was sleeping peacefully in his cradle by my bed, when I suddenly awoke with an overwhelming need to look at and hold him. So I turned on the light, picked him up and rocked him while he slept. I did this for about two hours, then suddenly I realized that he was not breathing and was completely limp and white--and in horror I thought I was holding a dead baby. --this also was hashgaha pratit, because if I hadn't turned on the light and held him, he would have stopped breathing and G-d forbid, have died in his sleep in his cradle. Instead, I saw it and was able to start CPR immediately (I am a nurse so I knew how to do that--MORE hashgaha pratit!). Now for the really 'other-worldly' part==while I was doing CPR, I realized I need to get to the phone to call an ambulance, but I was alone in the house with only the baby and my 2-year old. How could I dial the phone and talk while doing CPR?
Suddenly I felt a "presence" behind me and felt myself being told that it is alright to put the baby down -the CPR will continue while I call the ambulance. And that is what happened. I put the baby down, and called, AND THE CPR CONTINUED. I saw and heard the breath being blown into the baby==and when the ambulance and police arrived, they said they heard the CPR going on in the background while I was giving them directions to my home. Who did the CPR? Was it an angel?
'baby' is 5 and a half years old, a perfectly healthy, normal, lively child,
who will start kindergarten this fall (im yirtzeh hashem) at a Jewish
dayschool where he will learn about such things as hashgaha pratit. Oh
yes, I have recovered completely from my metastatic cancer (BhS) and we are
(trying to ) keep kosher and observe Shabbat. Thank you for giving me an
opportunity to tell people my "hashgaha pratit" story. Maybe it could help
Some 50 Yesha residents were waiting for rides home at 3 PM this afternoon when they unwittingly played a role in what could be called a clear case of Divine intervention. It began when a soldier stationed at the "trempiada"(bus stop and hitch-hiking station) on the Ma'aleh Adumim road adjacent to the Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill noticed a large, unattended, rose-colored backpack.
Arutz-7 correspondent Ron Meir - on his way home to Beit El from Jerusalem at the time - described the incident: "After asking around and discovering that it did not belong to anyone there, the soldier followed army protocol and summoned the police bomb-disposal unit. Police vans quickly arrived, and over the megaphone, they instructed us to move hundreds of feet away from the feared blast. Within a few minutes, they blew up the backpack - so that it would not blow up by itself - and that was that. A few minutes later, I entered a car with Beit El resident Yosef Abramson, who said that he talked to the bomb disposal expert after the blast. 'And do you want to hear something interesting?' he asked us. 'It wasn't a bomb at all. The bag belonged to a teenager who contacted the police when he realized that he'd left it behind. I was there when the sapper went to inspect the backpack, after it was blown up. Everything in it was either burnt or torn to shreds, except for two items: the boy's tallit and tefillin. The tallit bag was only slightly singed, and the tefillin bag was untouched.
But the sapper told me that he wasn't particularly surprised. He said that in his six years on the job, he's blown up many similar 'suspicious packages' - and not once had the tefillin inside been damaged!'"
I was in Lithuania for a 2 week program, over the holiday of Succos 1997. As a Chabad Rabbi, we had to go to smaller Jewish communities to make with these people a Brocha on the Lulav and Esrog. I get with my friend to a small city, "Zarisiy", this is on the border between Lithuania and Latvia.
Cutting a long story short: after meeting with the Jewish community out there, we wanted to see the Holy Rogachovas gravecite (as you might not know he was buried in Dvisik, called today as Dugapills). Before we left Zarisy, one of the Jewish men told us if we go to Dugapills we should give regards to a friend of his.
We get there and we meet a Jewish man at the graveyard and guess who it was... this friend of the man from the pevious city, he was happy to see us. He told us he never comes to the graveyard only on his parents yarzite and today was the day!!
Kol Tuv, Rabbi Gold
My name is Michael. I'm 17 years old and a recent Baal Teshuva. The closest Orthodox shul to where I lived 8 months ago was about 8 miles. Far from an eruv, and farther from a shul. HaShem did an incredible miracle for me, he has given me orthodox relatives who have been more than helpful by offering me a place for Shabbat. I was able to go to their house, along with a few others, every shabbos for more than 6 months.
Now HaShem performed yet another miracle in my favor. My mother was not in favor of me going away for Shabbat EVERY weekend. Meanwhile, we had just sold out house and she wanted to move to a specific development, we'll call it "Development A." D-A is nowhere near a Orthodox shul either. But there was a specific house she fell in love with only to be found in D-A. BUT, B"H, a new development has just went under construction... and, look at this! It has her exact house!! And what's more?! It's less than a mile away from Ner Israel, a very large yeshiva in Baltimore. I now can spend SHabbat home with my mother!
My friend Ira has even more recently become religious. He lives less than a five minute walk from Yeshiva, but never knew it existed. He's lived in that house for 9 years, and never knew that behind his back yard was a Yeshiva. 9 years ago, HaShem performed a miracle, that only today have we recognized! Ira and I are at Yeshiva every day now learning! Baruch HaShem!
My grandson, Avner Doriel, was born with CP and also brain damage. The doctors gave up all hope on him ever being anything but a vegetable. Avner Doriel couldn't laugh or even smile. He couldn't use his hands, and sat, bound in a wheelchair. My daughter's husband, Michael, had a relative in Canada who was a famous French rabbi. He invited them to bring Avner Doriel to stay with him for five days and nights in his home. My children drove all the way to Canada with Avner Doriel, which was very complicated. Avner was having 42 seizures a day at times and it was a dangerous journey. Avner was put in bedroom, and for those five days, the rabbi didn't come out except to eat. He slept in the room with Avner. At the end of the five days, he told my children to change his name to Chai, which they did. No sooner then that had arrived back home, Chai began turning from side to side, rolling on the floor! What a miracle! Later, they took Chai to Rabbi Schneerson, who put his hand on Chai's forehead and blessed him. Chai laughed! Another miracle! We waited years to hear him laugh, and everyone in the family heard about it that same day. Chai's life span was supposed to be from 7-9 years. Today, he lives happily in Israel and was thirteen last July!!!! Another miracle. He rolls, he laughs, and we know he is "in there", Baruch Hashem!!!!! Always.....Baruch Hashem!!!
Here in Brazil when every male guy gets 18 years old, he has to go to an army base with a lot of documents and present himself there. Then, an army official decides if this person will be obligated or not to stay a year in the army. On January of this year, I went to the army base ( which is faraway from my house) to present myself. When I got there, they told me I hadnīt all the documents they required, and I should come back another day. It took me more than one month to get the documents, and in February I went back there. Then, for the second time, they told me I needed one more document (which should be given by my school). I required the document in the school and waited. It was taking an incredibly long time for the school to provide the document, and I was very bored about this. Then, came Purim. I went at night to the synagogue to hear the megilah, but I knew my parents wouldnīt let me be absent in school to hear the megilah in the morning. At the night of purim, I thought I could go on the next day very early to the army,(and my parents would let me be absent to go the army) and then go to the shul, and immediately go back to school.
I was happy that I had found a way to hear the megilah. When I got home I told my mother I would go the next day to the army. But then she reminded me I had forgotten to take the document from the school!!! When my father heard this, he told me he was walking that day in front of my school and he decided to enter and ask for the document. And the document was ready!!
The next day I went very early to the army base, then took a bus to the shul ( the bus stopped almost a mile from the shul). Then I went running to the shul, and five minutes after I got there they started reading the megilah! What a hashgacha pratit! If I had all the documents to go to the army base in January, I probably wouldnīt hear the megilah on purimīs day! Baruch Hashem!
July 20th 1998 our family was sitting at a red light in front of the Jewish Community Center here in Tucson. My husband NEVER leaves space between us and the car in front. This day he left well over a car's length between us and the car in front of us.
A large full size pick up (speeding) hit our little Hyndai accent . They never even put on their brakes. They shoved us into the car in front of us doing significant damage to their car as well.
The drunk driver of the truck backed up and drove away.
(30 min later the truck was called in stolen. No one was caught).
BUT WE WERE ALIVE!!!!!!!
I immediately knew we were alive by divine intervention and was overwhelmed with graditude. My husband has NO IDEA why he stopped so far back !!! the only one injured was myself.Cuts, bruises, a broken wrist and hand. thank Hashem!
On the night of 09 Tevet at approximately 17.45, our house was robbed. When we arrived home only 2 hours later, we were welcomed by the sight of ransacked closets and cabinets, belongings covering the floors, and the knowledge that someone, obviously not very neat, had been our evening guests. Our uninvited visitors had left us with a number of nechasim less than those with which we had begun the day (including my wife's wedding ring and various yomtof jewelry items (they had good taste, but poor manners. They had also relieved us of approximately 3,000 sheqel belonging to the Medicine Prescription G'mach which we have the zchus to administer (and for which we hold the financial chovos). We were also left with a distinct feeling that we are not so safe in our small but growing village just a few kilometers West of Yerushalayim.
That evening, we were not even able to do sponga before entertaining representatives of the Israel Police since our previous guests had not only been rude but untidy and the police wanted to see everything as it was left. After filing our complaint with the police, one of the officers noted on the lighter side, that it's a good thing we weren't insured since the home insurance wouldn't pay anyway - there were no signs of a forced breakin.
Our Prescription G'mach has made us somewhat popular in town, and the loss to this non-profit enterprise troubled the more concerned (which apparently there are alot of) among our neighbors. A collection was undertaken to cover the losses to the G'mach. The precise amount of the theft was unknown to all - including us. After several days, the collection organizer presented my wife with 2,180 sheqel. My wife then made a cheshbon of the precise losses, something she had been afraid to do before, and calculated 2,200 sheqel stolen. "What hashgacha pratis" she thought after she made the calculation. "Our neighbors collected only 20 sheqel short of the amount stolen". She was now the only one who knew of the sum of the loss, she that is, and HaKodosh Baruch Hu. The next day another 20 sheqel was dropped off at the house. Apparently being osek b'tsarchi tsibbur has it's rewards, even if it's "only" a hispaalus sometimes at the greatness of the little things in HaShem's running of His world!
On July 30, there was a suicide bombing in the heart of Jerusalem, in the Machane Yehuda market.
My mother-in-law would have been at the market yesterday when the bombs went off. A woman in her Hebrew language class who she became friendly with offered to drive her to the market after class. But my mother-in-law decided not to go because my father-in-law wasn't feeling well, so she decided to go home.
Before leaving, she and the other woman had to wait on a long line of people waiting for the bathroom. Then my mother-in-law went home and the woman drove to the market. She parked her car, and then noticed an old woman carrying a lot of packages who needed help getting to the bus stop. She helped the woman and then turned around to go into the market- and just then the bombs went off!!
It was tremendous Divine Providence - on two accounts. Had my father-in-law been feeling well, my mother-in-law would have gone to the market. And had there not been a line for the bathroom, or had my mother-in-law's friend not helped the old lady, the woman would have gotten to the market earlier and would have been right where the bombs went off!!
Boruch Hashem there are times when we realize how Hashem leads us on the right path. Although of course this doesn't take away from our sorrow over those who weren't saved.
May we only hear good tidings, and Moshiach come soon.
One year ago, Hashem blessed our family with a "special child". As expected, there were many complications. Our pediatrician was very encouraging, and it really helped us to have such a nice doctor. It was only months later, that we realized how much Hashgacha P'ratis was involved for months before our baby was born!
Through a mutual friend, we were introduced to another family, who had a baby with the same diagnosis. However, she was four months older than our baby. What did we find out? They're using the exact same pediatrician we're using! We started talking about how nice the doctor has been to us, and how encouraging it was. They couldn't believe it! Turns out, that their baby was the first "special baby" that this pediatrician got as a patient, and of course he was very overwhelmed with the situation, to the point to tell the parents not to take the baby home! Luckily, the parents did not listen to the doctor, and took the baby home. They took the baby to the pediatrician for regular monthly checkups, and the doctor fell in love with the baby! He actually got to know such a baby for the first time, and was totally in awe of what such a "special baby" can achieve! All these months, without our knowing it, Hashgacha was preparing this particular pediatrician, to be able to accept our special baby with total love and acceptance, and help us deal with her, in a nice and encouraging way.
This story showed us yet again, that everything is from Hashem, with loads of Hashgacha Pratis. Sometimes we see it, sometimes we find out about it (like we did, also by Hashgacha!), and many times we don't see it. In those times we have to believe that Hashgacha P'ratis is still there, even though we don't realize it.
I love this ! I always wished there was some place to record and publicise personal ma'ases of HP. Here is my true story. It has HP, both minor and major.
My name is Avner Abensour. I was a counselor in Camp Na'arim in the Poconos this summer. Two weeks into the trip, the counselor of the bunk next door to me needed a lock for his cubby door. I happened ( not main H.P.) to have brought an extra Master lock for my suitcase, which I wasn't using at that point. I had two keys for this lock. I gave one to him and one I put on my keychain in case he misplaced his key, which he did, so I was able to help him (more HP).
At the end of the trip, it was time for me to go home, while my next door neighbor counselor stayed. The day of my departure, he returned my key and my lock. I used the lock to lock up my carry - on, which had my Tefilin and all my expensive personal audio equipment in it. I stuck the key in my pocket, figuring I'd attach it to my keychain later. I never got around to it. At the airport, for my flight home to LA, I suddenly realized that I was missing my keychain - I had left it on the airport shuttle! How was I going to get at all my stuff in my carry-on without having to destroy it in the process? Then I reached into my pocket. The spare key! The one that I didn't have a chance to put on my keychain. It suddenly became apparent that the whole sequence started with my counselor friend needing a lock!
Hi! My name is Ariel Rackovsky, and I learn at Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Rochester, N.Y. I have an incredible story of hashgacha pratis to relate.
About a half year ago my uncle got into a terrible car accident, in which he crashed into the person driving in front of him, because she forgot to signal, and they both turned at the same time. Baruch Hashem, he was not hurt, however, his car was totalled. My uncle realized that he escaped death by a few centimeters (he claims literally). Although normally he is not one to do such a thing, he felt that he should check his Tefillin, to see if there was anything wrong that could have caused this accident.My uncle took the tefillin to his Sofer, and found that the word "NAFSHECHA" was damaged.
That's not all! My uncle had come back from reserve duty in the Israeli Army a few days before the accident.While leaving the house for reserves, he was in such a hurry, he forgot his Tefillin at home....He had to borrow a pair from another frum person in his troop.
Several years after leaving Kollel in Chicago (fictional location) a chaver of mine who was still learning in Kollel there was having a rough time of it.
I was aware that the Rosh Kollel was in favor of his leaving Kollel, but this chaver was not taking the hint that it was time to move on. I knew that he had a relative who would probably offer him a job if he asked, but he was reluctant to do so, as the city where the job would be was not exactly a bastion of Torah life.
This chaver of mine was close to a former high school rebbe of his, who was now a prominent Rosh Yeshiva. On several occasions I suggested to my chaver, as well as to the rosh Kollel seperately, that they should speak to this Rosh Yeshiva for advice on what he should do now. For whatever reason neither of them managed to contact him.
Unfortunately, my grandfather was niftar, and I had to fly out of town to his levayah which was held on a Friday morning. I remained for a few days of shiva. Motozei Shaboss, to my surprise, this Rosh Yeshiva turned up at the Shiva. Seeing him, I decided to speak to him about the situation of my chaver, to ask him if he could please contact my chaver and advise him on the pros and cons of the various options that were facing him.
The Rosh Yeshiva was very glad I had approached him and we spoke at length about the pros and cons of his remaining where he was in Kollel or his moving to the other city to work. After weighing the various factors he agreed with me that my chaver should move, and assured me that he would contact my chaver that week.
That Wednesday, I arrived in the Kollel to daven Maariv and my chaver ran over to me all excited. "I am moving...", he told me.
He then went on to explain to me that on Firday afternoon his relative had called him with a job offer. After mulling it over all Shabbos he decided on Sunday morning to call his former rebbe for advice. He then proceeded to tell me what his rebbe had told him, which was essentially a repeat of the conversation his rebbe and I had had on Motzoei Shabbos.
He, of course, had no idea that I had spoken to his rebbe, and I never said a word to him about it. To this day I wonder what this Rosh Yeshiva must have thought when his phone rang Sunday morning with this talmid on the line.
Baruch hashem, i am still in occasional touch with this chaver, and he seems to be quite satisfied with how things are going where he has been living these past few years.
Dear Pirchei Shoshanim,
I want to tell you about an amazing Hashgocho Protis. My Rebbe is Rabbi Rachmiel Steinberg. I learn in Yeshivat Yavneh of Los Angeles. One day my Rebbe came into class before Davening and told us that for the next 30 days we were going to try an experiment.
He asked if anyone was interested. I told him that I was. He said that how can I say for sure without knowing what the experiment would be. He then told us what it was. He said that if we would try to Daven as seriously and with as much concentration as we could for the next 30 days, then he would Daven that our Tefillas should be accepted.
He also told us that we had to ask for something personal in our Tefilla. The rule was that we could NOT tell anyone what we were asking for until the 30th day. He said that it could even be something that we just want not just something we need. He said we could even Daven to be happy!
My Rebbe made me really think about this experiment. He gave us booklets to fill in what we were asking for and if we got it from Hashem. He once told us a story that reminded me of this. In the story a boy Davened for a new bike to prove to his Rebbe that Davening doesn't help. I decided to do the same thing.
I knew I wouldn't get the bike so I Davened for it just so I could have an excuse not to Daven seriously anymore. I wanted to say to my Rebbe that Hashem doesn't care about my Davening anyway.
29 days went by and I didn't get the bike. I was happy about it because I was going to prove to my Rebbe that my Davening doesn't count for anything. I went home on the 29th day and I found out that one of my relatives had given my mother money to by me a bike and when I got home it was waiting for me!
I couldn't wait to tell my Rebbe how glad I was to be wrong. I guess Hashem does care about my Tefilla.
Sossi Ouzer - Yeshivat Yavneh (5th Grade)
PS: My Rebbe told me that its not always so normal to get exactly what you ask for when you really try to Daven well. He said we usually get things which are even better for us than we asked for.
Wallet Lost, Then Found
On Rosh Chodesh Nissan, I sat with a friend outside the Ramat Eshkol supermarket. We were snacking on some chips, and catching up on changes in our personal lives, like the chickenpoxes I was suffering from (at age 31!) During the course of the conversation, I noticed that my wallet was slipping from my pocket, and while slipping it back in I made a mental note to check that my wallet was still there when we got up. Later, we got up, and the mental note slipped my mind as easily as the wallet slipped my pocket.
We walked into a store in the strip mall, I picked out a couple of things to take back to the office, and discovered that * MY WALLET WAS GONE. * I ran back to the bench where we'd sat no more than two minutes before, but there was nothing there. Someone had already found my wallet and left with it.
Losing a wallet with a fair sum of money, as well as the thought of going to the Interior Ministry for a new identity card, to the Health Organization for a new membership card, new drivers' license, bus pass, etc., did nothing to improve the way I felt. Shortly after returning to the office, I decided to pack it in for the weekend (it was Thursday afternoon) and go to some friends' house for Sabbath. They live in a community outside of Jerusalem, and I thought it would be good to get away from town.
The following morning, as I lay miserable on my friends' couch, the telephone rang, and it was for me. One of my friends from Shilo (the community where I live) was on the phone, and she told me that another friend had called her looking for me, and that I should check with that person right away about my missing wallet! I called this second neighbor, and she told me that she'd been called by a third neighbor who was looking for me and said that someone had found my wallet. (Apparently the finder called him because he knew that he lives in Shilo, as my identity card would indicate that I do, too.) She gave me the phone number of the person who'd found my wallet.
The finder's phone number seemed familiar, and in spite of my fever I realized that the number was almost identical to that of the friends where I was staying. Sure enough, when I called the finder I discovered that he was just down the road from my friends. My friend drove me over there before Sabbath, and I got my wallet back.
I'm sure that the Kadosh Baruch Hoo sent my wallet chasing after me
The Shoelace Saved His Life
It was around 3:45 p.m. on an erev Shabbat, and Dani (the names are fictional) was on his way home for his Shabbat furlough from the army. Shabbat was to come in that week at 4:25 and Dani lived in Be'er Sheva. While standing at the trampiada (hitch-hiking station) near Netanya waiting for a car to stop that would bring him a little closer to his home, Shabbat was the last thing on Dani's mind. Raised in a non-religious, Israeli family, Dani didn't really believe in G-d, but then he had never really given the issue much thought, anyway.
A car pulled up and Moshe rolled down his window. "I'm just going to Netanya, but I'd be happy to take you there. Maybe it'll help you get to where you're going a little quicker. Where are you going to anyway?" asked Moshe.
"I'm going home", answered Dani. "I live in Be'er Sheva".
"Be'er Sheva!" Moshe exclaimed in shock. "Why that's over 2 hours drive from here. How do you expect to get there before Shabbat?" ignoring the fact that Dani obviously didn't look religious.
"Well, to tell you the truth, I'm not religious, so it doesn't matter to me if I get there after Shabbat begins" answered Dani.
Moshe couldn't resist. Just for the off-chance that the soldier would agree, he had to do what he felt was right. "Please come home with me and spend Shabbat with me and my family. We have plenty of space and the food is great."
Dani, a bit taken aback, politely declined and began to move away, back to his position at the trampiada.
"Just give it a try. Maybe you'll have a good time, or at the very least, an interesting experience. Just give it a chance."
Dani, vaguely remembering a time long ago when he spent part of a Shabbat with a religious family in Be'er Sheva who were friends of his parents, didn't relish the thought of being cooped up all weekend in a restrictive environment. Besides, this guy was wearing a suit and black hat, and that scared him. To him, it represented the fanatic element of the Jewish people. But on the other hand, Moshe was right. Maybe he would enjoy the temporary change in his life's routine and have an "interesting experience." After thinking it over in his head for a few seconds, realizing that there were cars behind him waiting to move on, he ran around the other side of the car and jumped in, throwing his duffel bag in the back.
On their way home, they introduced themselves. Dani seemed to feel pretty comfortable with Moshe, despite his appearance.
Toward the end of the Shabbat, Dani had to admit that it wasn't as bad as he'd expected. There was something nice about the family atmosphere; the food, the song, the lively discussion, and the laid back, restful atmosphere. It was time to go, and Dani was thanking his hosts, and saying his good byes to the family.
Moshe, happy to have been able to provide his "brother" with a brief glimpse of what being a Jew is all about, was not totally contented. He needed to do more to keep this spark he'd planted burning within Dani.
"Dani, before you go, I have one request to ask of you."
"I appreciated this shabbat very much. What can I do to repay you?"
Pulling a Kitzur Shulchan Aruch off the bookshelf, Moshe handed it to Dani and asked him to pick one mitzvah that he'd be willing to do everyday. He realized this request might be too much, but he had to try.
Dani, once again taken aback, didn't know what to think. He looked askance at Moshe, but began to flip through the pages of the book. He came to the beginning where it says that a person must don his right shoe first, then his left shoe, then tie his left shoe, then his right one. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. "Is this what Jewish Law is all about?" he thought to himself? As strange as it sounded, he wanted to oblige his host, and this seemed like a pretty simple thing to do. "O.K." answered Dani. "here's my mitzvah".
Moshe took Dani's phone number so that he could "follow up" later and see how Dani was doing.
A few weeks later, as his jeep was about to leave his base to begin their nightly patrol on the Lebanese border, Dani, who had just woken up and threw on his clothes, remembered that he forgot to put his shoes on the way he had been for the last few weeks. He thought to himself- was it worth holding up his patrol to do something he didn't really understand why he was doing anyway? "What the heck" Dani said to himself. He was a consistent person in all he did in life, and this little "project" he took upon himself was no different.
"Wait a minute," Dani yelled to his patrol mates. "I forgot something in the tent."
Dani ran back to his tent, took off his shoes and put them back on as quickly as possible- this time properly.
When he came out, he realized that the patrol hadn't waited for him. He was upset at himself for causing the rest of the guys on his patrol to have to go without him. Ten minutes later, while sitting in his tent, a ruckus was heard in the command post. He ran to see what was happening. The radio operator reported to all present that patrol Almog-8 - the patrol Dani was supposed to be on - hit a land mine. All of his buddies were killed.