His glorious honor was revealed to them and they pointed with a finger. (Shemos Rabbah) A maidservant by the sea saw what was not shown to the prophets. (Mechilta – Rashi)
For many years I have been involved with seminars demonstrating with lockdown logic the veracity of Torah. Many people have walked away with a conviction that the Torah is true and there really is a G-d! They may have adopted Shabbos and Kashrus based on their new understanding of things. However, I know that deep inside lurks a gnawing question, “Sure I know there’s a G-d, but does He think about me?” We all certainly feel it to a greater and lesser degree! That is not something that can be proven in the abstract. It must be experienced and learned on a personal level.
More than 33 years ago I heard something stunning directly from the mouth of the Tzadik of Monsey, Rabbi Mordechai Schwab ztl. Quoting Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch, it is written in Adon Olam, “Master of the Universe before any creature was created … He was, He is, and He will be in glory. He is One and there is no second to compare to Him to associate (with Him). Without beginning, without end, Power and dominion are His. He is my G-d and my living Redeemer!” Rabbi Schwab emphasized that last line and etched into my psyche! “He is My G-d” he said touching his own chest. That is how one relates to HASHEM, not as a distant entity but as a great and personal G-d who is deeply interested in the details of your life. So how do we know?
A month ago, while teaching a class in seminary, I deviated from the planned topic and swerved into the subject of Hashgacha Pratis- Divine Providence. I shared some of my most incredible stories, personal episodes that I lived through, experienced, and witnessed.
Now I know they were thinking like my kids always say, “How come these things only happen to you?” My answer is that that happen to everyone but you have to be alert to notice it when it happens. I told the girls that if they will look they will see amazing things. I promised them that I would purchase for each of them these little personal notebooks for recording Hashgacha Pratis.
Right after the class I looked at my phone and saw I had received a message from my wife during the class. I listened to the recording right away, “Label, can you do me a favor and pick up for me one of those Hashgacha Pratis journals.” Wow! That’s exactly what I was talking about. Now we became tuned in again to keep our eyes open for Hashgacha Pratis.
Less than two weeks ago my wife and I were taking a long trek deep into Long Island for the funeral of my beloved mother. I found myself reminiscing about my first Shabbos experience. How after the Shabbos, the mother of the family that hosted me was washing dishes and I was sitting and writing personal notes. She had the radio on in the background. It was a Jewish station and the song was by the Megama Duo Band, with Moshe Yes.
The lyrics struck me. “Zeidy made us laugh and Zeidy made a Kiddush Friday night… Zeidy Oh my Zeidy how I loved him so…” I was thinking about my great grandfather, who fit that bill. The song concludes with Zeidy dying and the refrain, “Who will be the Zeidy of our children? Who will be their Zeidy if not we?” I was crying like and baby.
I turned to my wife and told her that now that my mother, Bubby, is with us no more, then you are now the grand “Bubby” of our grandchildren. Just then my wife pointed to a car passing us on the left hand side with a license plate that read, “BUBBYZEE” We were both amazed. More than ever we needed to know, even if it’s a brief wink, HASHEM is with us!