Hashem runs the world. He weaves the tapestry of our lives with perfect precision. We, as humans, don’t always perceive how each of the intricacies and connections of our existence fit together until much later, if at all. Sometimes the recognition doesn’t even come in our lifetimes. But sometimes the interlocking pieces are wrapped up and packaged so beautifully that we clearly see how everything fits together perfectly. The hand of Hashem in such events cannot be denied or overlooked. My good friends recently had such an experience.
My friend’s nephew, Dovid*, who lives in Israel, came down with a serious case of the coronavirus. His family here in Israel and in the United States was extremely worried about his condition. For those who were far away, the situation was even more challenging in some ways. They had to hear updates remotely and there was little they could do to help. But they tried to do whatever they could to support Dovid from a distance. Of course, they davened intensely for his complete and speedy recovery. But they wanted to do more. How could they be of help? They quickly came up with an idea. They had heard of a certain medication administered in the US that is reportedly very successful in treating the virus, but for some reason is not typically used for treatment in Israel. They decided to send Dovid some of this medication. The only problem was that it would take some time for the medication to get there, and they wanted him to receive it as soon as possible. This was one piece of the puzzle.
In a seemingly unrelated event around this time, the brother-in-law of Dovid’s sister, Chaim*, was driving his daughter to a beshow. A beshow is a chaperoned date very common in chassidishe circles. Typically, the boy and his parents go to see the girl in her home or in another home hosting the “date.” The parents sit and talk together. When the atmosphere gets more relaxed, the parents leave the room and give the boy and girl a chance to get to know one another and see if they are compatible. As Chaim was driving, he wondered to himself, will this boy be “the one?” Would he soon be hugging this boy and dancing with him to the tune of “Od yishamah?” As he continued to his destination with these thoughts floating through his head, he suddenly felt a boom. To his utter shock, a driver in a car nearby bumped right into him. He and his daughter were stunned. But they were immediately relieved that Baruch Hashem none of the passengers in either car had sustained any injuries. But the drivers still had to work things out between them and the girl had to get to the beshow. After all, the beshow must go on. Chaim could imagine the other family sitting and waiting and looking incredulously at their watches. What a way to make a great first impression! Chaim and his daughter didn’t think that this extra excitement was really necessary, but at least they knew the girl and the boy would have something interesting to talk about. Little did they know that through this unexpected event, Hashem was arranging another piece of the puzzle. As it turned out, the person who crashed into them was frum. While the men spoke, Chaim called his brother, Yanky* (married to Dovid’s sister), and asked him to come to the site of the accident in order to pick up his daughter and bring her to the beshow. Yanky dropped everything and ran. At some point, the other driver mentioned that his car was a rental. He would soon return it to the airport as he was scheduled to fly back to Israel. “Israel?” Yanky asked. “Would you mind being a shaliach mitzvah and take some medication with you for someone in Israel who is sick with corona?” The driver said he would be more than happy to do so. So, Yanky made a dash for the pharmacy, bought the medication, and ran back to give it to the other driver. Then he whisked his niece off to her beshow without a moment to lose.
Hashem is the true rofeh (healer) of all cholim, but we, as the beneficiaries of His unending kindness, have to do our own hishtadlus (personal effort) in order to recover. It is impossible to know if this is really what led to the turnaround of the condition of Dovid, but Baruch Hashem he has recovered beautifully. And the beshow? It did not take long until the families met again, this time to drink a l’chaim in celebration of the engagement of the ecstatic young couple. In one fell swoop, Hashem put together all the pieces of the puzzle which He had benevolently and lovingly planned with crystal-clear hashgachah pratis, Divine intervention.
The hand of Hashem in events isn’t always as obvious as it is in this particular story - but it is no less present. We can rest assured that in His love for us, Hashem is always arranging the puzzle pieces of our lives in the way that is best for us.
*All names were changed to protect confidentiality.
Suzie (nee Schapiro) Steinberg grew up in Kew Gardens Hills. She works as a social worker and lives with her husband and children in Ramat Beit Shemesh.