The Midrash Rabbah famously cites the pasuk from T’hilim (40:5): “Praiseworthy is the man who placed his trust in Hashem and did not turn to the arrogant.” The Midrash comments as follows: “Praiseworthy is the man who placed his trust in Hashem” – This refers to Yosef; “and did not turn to the arrogant” – Because Yosef said to Pharaoh’s chief butler (at the end of last week’s parshah), “If only you would think of me...and mention me,” Yosef had to remain in prison an additional two years. At times, a person may be put in a situation where he clearly sees that Hashem is his only true provider. He must face that reality with pure faith and then he will be rewarded with salvation.

Rabbi Peretz Eichler glanced at his watch one rainy spring night. It was 11:00 p.m., the ideal time for a surprise inspection. Peretz was a part-time mashgiach for United Kosher Supervision, and part of his job was supervising a bakery in a local supermarket. Though the bakery would be closed by now, the supermarket itself was still open, and he would be able to get inside to check on the ingredients used in the baking.

Peretz threw on his trench coat and drove through the drizzle to the supermarket. The parking lot was nearly empty. When he entered the store, he could see only one cashier and a couple of customers at the front of the supermarket.

Peretz made his way through the aisles to the bakery section. That area of the store was completely deserted. It was likely that no one would come back to that section until four o’clock in the morning, when the bakers arrived to begin work. Peretz looked around at the supplies on the shelves, which appeared to be in order. Then he entered the walk-in freezer and started checking the supplies. It wasn’t long before he started to feel the cold, despite the coat he was wearing. He wasted no time checking the food on the shelves and then heading back to the door of the freezer.

However, when he pushed on the inside handle of the freezer door, nothing happened. He frowned and pushed a little harder. Still nothing. He leaned back and jammed at the door with his shoulder, thinking the door was stuck and just needed a good solid jolt. But it still didn’t budge. “What’s going on here?” he grumbled in frustration. This time, instead of pushing the handle, he gave it a yank...and the handle came off in his hand!

Now he became nervous. He was stuck in the freezer with no way out, and no one was due to arrive for four more hours. It would be impossible for him to survive that long! He began banging on the door, all the while knowing that there was no one around to hear him. Then he noticed a small crack on the bottom of the door. He leaned down, took a deep breath of fresh air, and began screaming for help.

Peretz had no idea how long he had been lying there, yelling for help. Had it been one minute? Five? Ten? Every second felt like a lifetime. The frosty chill had invaded his body, and he was beginning to feel the first effects of hypothermia. He started taking another breath to call again when the freezer door suddenly opened. Peretz stared upwards in shock. He quickly scrambled to his feet to face two young men, who were looking equally surprised.

“How did you get in here?” one of them exclaimed.

“I’m Rabbi Eichler from United Kosher Supervision,” Peretz’s teeth were chattering but he managed to explain. “I went into the freezer to inspect the food, and somehow I got locked in. Thank you so much for coming to help me out! I would have frozen to death if not for you! Tell me, where are you coming from?”

“Actually, we’re from Kentucky,” one of the young men said. “We were just driving through New Jersey, and we stopped off to get something to eat. We decided to get something from the bakery. When we got here, we saw the bakery was closed, but as we started to leave, we heard some screaming coming from the freezer, so we opened the door.”

“I can’t thank you enough,” Peretz said gratefully. “You literally saved my life.”

“Do you know why you were saved?” the young man said to Peretz. “It’s because you are working for G-d and it says in Psalms, ‘The one who trusts in G-d will be surrounded by kindness.’” Peretz breathed a deep sigh. All he could manage to say was a whispered, “Baruch Hashem!”

(Adapted from Visions of Greatness, Rabbi Yosef Weiss)

Rabbi Dovid Hoffman is the author of the popular “Torah Tavlin” book series, filled with stories, wit and hundreds of divrei Torah, including the brand new “Torah Tavlin Yamim Noraim” in stores everywhere. You’ll love this popular series. Also look for his book, “Heroes of Spirit,” containing one hundred fascinating stories on the Holocaust. They are fantastic gifts, available in all Judaica bookstores and online at . To receive Rabbi Hoffman’s weekly “Torah Tavlin” sheet on the parsha, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.