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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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A Nor’easter And The One Above It

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Soon after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation was just starting to sink in, news of a second approaching powerful storm called a “Nor’easter” was heard around the tri-state area. Another probable loss of power, hot water and other conveniences left us anxious and worried. In Lakewood, New Jersey there is a small mikveh building near the lake, and the woman working there shared this story about the storm’s impact.

On the night of the Nor’easter, the frightening sound of wind was screaming through the windows. In Lakewood, we suffered even more damage from the Nor’easter winds than from Sandy. Trees were downed and electrical wires were hanging everywhere. The next morning cops were redirecting traffic in many areas in order to help travelers avoid electrocution. Soon after the storm hit we lost power at home, and the following day we were still in the dark – and cold.

We heard stories about those who, fortunate enough to have their electricity back, generously hosted those still without power. There was a strong spirit of chesed and unity in the community, especially on behalf of the families without power for over a week.

The mikveh by the lake seemed to have acquired special protection. As the storm pounded our area, the electricity remained intact in the mikveh until every woman had finished taking her turn. The building then lost power for the rest of the night and throughout the next day. Baruch Hashem, on the following night, the electricity was restored – just an hour before women would need to use the mikveh again.

Look at the details the One Above attends to as He surveys our world and His people. Look at the consideration and compassion He can show us as he sends His mighty winds across our cities. In days gone by, the kohen was required to erase Hashem’s holy name in order to restore shalom between husband and wife. Shalom was now being preserved between couples again, as there were many grateful couples able to avoid the tension and frustration of having their plans ruined because of the storm. I see this incident as a great example of Hashem’s hashgachah in our lives.

Each time I pass the building that houses the mikveh near the lake, I will always remember that Hashem truly values the steps we take to raise our spirituality in a world filled with confusion and impurity.

May He guide our way and continue to shed “light” on all of our endeavors.

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The start of the school year had already passed. Our youngest son was waiting for community leaders to determine what should be done for the students of his beloved school that had recently fallen apart due to lack of funds. The result turned out to be better than anyone could have ever expected.

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I felt ill at ease in a strange way when our daughter drove off in our old Dodge Caravan to pick up my son from yeshiva. She was new at the wheel, and there was plenty of traffic to maneuver around in Lakewood on Friday afternoons. An innocent, precious neshamah in my eyes who didn’t belong on the busy roads, she wanted to help out. So when I was called later to the scene of the accident, the One Above seemed to confirm that my assessment had been totally accurate.

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