The following story is related by Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser shlita, and it illustrates how a Jew can merit unique Divine intervention, if he or she stands up for what is right. The story took place in Eretz Yisrael and is about a poor bride named Rena who could not afford her own wedding gown and needed to resort to procuring one from a free-loan gemach organization. She did her research and found such an organization that had just what she was looking for. The problem was that it was in a distant city and she would have to travel there if she wanted the gown.
She was determined and made the arrangements. As Rena made her way into the van and took a seat in the back, she took in a deep breath. Settling herself down, she anticipated a two-hour drive ahead until she reached her destination. Seated, as well, in the car was a rabbi who was wearing earphones and listening to a lecture, attempting to block out any disturbing noises.
The van continued along as a few more people boarded and, after a few minutes, the driver turned on the radio. To Rena’s immense dissatisfaction, the radio was set to a popular Israeli rock station and it was playing a song that was quite decadent and something she wished to avoid hearing. As she unwillingly listened to the disturbing words, she eventually could no longer take it. “Excuse me, driver, but could you by any chance turn the music off?”
Turning around in his seat, the driver stared straight back at her. “No. There are other people here that enjoy this music and I’m not turning it off for one person – I’m going to leave it on. They are also paying for their transportation.”
Unable to do anything more about the situation, Rena remained silent. As a few more people soon joined as passengers, the music increased in volume. It was soon becoming too much for Rena to bear; she literally couldn’t stand it. The music was hurting her ears. Again, she kindly pleaded, “Sir, I am nicely asking you, could you please turn it off?”
Yet again, the driver turned around and said, “I am sorry, but you are not the only passenger in this van, and you are not going to overrule everyone else here. We are going to listen to this music because we enjoy it.” And with that, he turned back around to face the road.
“Fine,” said Rena. “You don’t have to turn it off, but please let me out of the van right here.”
Swiveling back in his seat a third time, the driver said, “I want you to know that I will not give you back your money.”
“Okay,” replied Rena, “just please let me off.” As Rena was about to get out of the car, the rabbi sitting in the front seat took note of all the commotion. “Wait, wait! What’s going on?” When he learned of the predicament, he too began to beg the driver to turn off the music, but it was to no avail. The driver was firmly adamant that matters run as he wished. With no other resort remaining, the driver pulled over to the side and let Rena off in a lonely, deserted area.
Later that day, the rabbi was on his way back from running his errands. Walking down the street, he was surprised to see right before him Rena, the very same girl who had made the commotion and who had so boldly stood by her opinion earlier that day. He recognized her because she made such an impression on him. He quietly asked if she was okay.
“I am perfectly fine,” she replied. “In fact, I am doing quite well. Let me tell you what happened; you won’t believe it. After I was let off the van, I had to wait for only ten minutes until another car came along and picked me up. As I made my way inside, I took a seat next to an elderly woman. She was very kind and jolly, introducing herself as Feige. She asked for my name and where I was headed. I told her that my name was Rena and explained that I was heading to a gemach organization because I am a bride in need of a wedding gown. This organization provides brides who cannot afford more pricey gowns with used but nice gowns, and I was thrilled I would be able to get one.
“I then asked the kindly woman, Feige, where she was going. She told me the following: “Right now I am on my way to the gravesite of the holy Tanna Rabbi Meir Baal HaNeis. It is his yahrzeit today, the anniversary day of his passing, and every year I go there. The reason I have this custom is because of my father. I grew up in one of the poorest families in Jerusalem. My family was so impoverished that we could barely afford food for each day, let alone for Shabbos and Yom Tov. My father did what he could, but we struggled mightily to make ends meet. Matters continued to decline until one day, in a cry of desperation, my father went to the grave of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNeis and prayed his heart out.
“By the time he returned home, he was clearly a different person. Something unexplainable had changed in him. From that day onwards, money began to flow into our house. There was more money and more money. My father started making successful business deals and we eventually became one of the wealthiest families in the city.
“My father in due time passed away, but he left two requests in his will. Every year on the yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNeis, I am to go and daven at Rabbi Meir’s kever. The second thing is that on the day of his yahrzeit, I am supposed to find a poor bride and pay for her all of her wedding expenses. In addition to that, I am to commit to support her and her husband for their entire first year of marriage. Rena, my dear kallah, you will not have to look for any free-loan gemach gown. You will not have to borrow any dress. I will provide you with a beautiful new wedding dress, and all the expenses for your first year of marriage will be taken care of!”