web analytics
November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Chance Encounters?


Lessons-logo

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Even the seemingly smallest of occurrences has a purpose.

I recently had a doctor’s appointment in Yerushalayim. Once finished, I decided to do some shopping in a nearby grocery store. This spur-of-the- moment decision led to an encounter with someone from my past, who was to teach me invaluable lessons in life.

While standing in line at the register, I noticed a woman with a familiar- looking profile in the next aisle.

The woman must have sensed my gaze because she turned around and met my eye. A look of recognition passed between us, and we struck up a conversation.

We had once lived in the same city in the U.S., and had attended the sameshul. Yocheved (not her real name) was a few years older than I. We had been acquaintances, rather than good friends. She and her family had made aliyah to northern Israel a few years before my family and I moved to Yerushalayim.

We caught up a little bit on each other’s lives. Yocheved’s family had recently relocated to Yerushalayim.

The line of shoppers moved slowly forward as we spoke. We exchanged numbers and promised to keep in touch.

Over the ensuing years, we occasionally spoke by phone. Her youngest child was now in school with my son, Rafi. We invited each other to family simchas, but we still did not develop a strong friendship.

My youngest child, Shani, was studying in Hebrew University. Her school building was not within the campus proper, but located across the street, within property belonging to the Mt. Scopus Hadassah Hospital. There was a small, enclosed courtyard where the students could relax between classes. The Hadassah hospice shared use of this courtyard.

One day my daughter and her friends were in the courtyard, enjoying the sunny day. A patient was outside, leaning on her walker. When she saw the girls, she called them over. She was very friendly and asked them about themselves. When she heard my daughter’s name, her face lit up. It was none other than Yocheved, who was unfortunately now very ill. She asked Shani if I could please visit her.

At first, I would take two buses and visit her on my own. One day, my husband asked if he might join me. And so began a very special, important part of our lives.

We tried to visit Yocheved as often as we could. When one visit would end, we were already planning our next one. It’s hard to explain, but our visits became as important to us as they were to her. Our friendship became very strong, as we bore witness to her suffering and her acceptance. She never complained, though hooked up to a morphine pump and later confined to a wheelchair – and, at the end, connected to oxygen.

She never wanted her guests to leave, though she would fall asleep several times during a visit. She tried to go to as many shiurim as possible, with the help of her special friends. She was interested in everyone’s life and spoke glowingly about her family. We never heard her speak a bad word, whether about others or about her fate.

Overall, we who visited Yocheved received far more from her than we gave.

We were planning our next visit when our son, Rafi, came home from university. He had just taken a midterm exam, and asked me to sit down with him for a minute. He told me how, when the test was done, he decided to hang around the university for a while. He didn’t have anything important to do there, but he just felt the need to stay.

Suddenly, a familiar-looking young man approached him. Neither of them remembered how they knew each other, but they exchanged a few words. A few minutes later, as Rafi was leaving the campus, he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was the same young man. He had remembered a mutual friend of theirs, someone who had been in Rafi’s class. He asked my son if he knew that this friend’s mother had passed away a few days before.

And so, due to another seemingly chance encounter, we were able to complete a circle. We had been there to help see Yocheved on her way and now, though we had missed the funeral, we were able to say our goodbyes through speaking with her children.

May Yocheved be a melitzat yosher for her family and Klal Yisrael.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chance Encounters?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yeshiva Beit Orot
2 Yeshiva Students Injured in Friday Night Terrorist Attack
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

Yitzchak thought the Jewish people needed dual leadership: Eisav the physical; Yaakov the spiritual

Weiss-112114-Sufganiot

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, the nature of the month of Kislev is sleep.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Though braggarts come across as conceited, their boasting often reflects a low sense of self-regard

Nimchinsky-112114-Learning

Not every child can live up to our hopes or expectations, but every child is loved by Hashem.

Leaders must always pay attention to the importance of timing.

While our leaders have been shepherds, the vast majority of the Children of Israel were farmers.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Ramban interprets Korban as self-sacrifice, each Jew should attempt to recreate Akeidas Yitzchak.

Dr. Schwartz had no other alternatives up his sleeve. He suggested my mother go home and think about what she wanted to do.

Why does Lavan’s speaking before his father show that he was wicked? Disrespectful, yes. Rude, certainly. But a rasha?

We find that in certain circumstances before the Torah was actually given, people were permitted to make calculations as to what would better serve Hashem, even if it were against a mitzvah or aveirah.

More Articles from Debbie Garfinkel Diament
Mother of Naftali Frankel, Rachel Frankel, seen crying over the body of her son, during the joint funeral for the three murdered Jewish teens, in the Modiin cemetery, on July 1, 2014.

Loving tears shed by Jewish mothers for their beloved children from Rachel Imeinu to Racheli Frankel.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

A few seats away, I noticed a man with a Mishnah in hand, talking intently into a cell phone. I soon realized the man was participating in a Daf Yomi shiur, utilizing his traveling time well.

I insisted that one decoration, a dancing sevivon (dreidel) man, remain hanging in recognition of the chag. Some in my family questioned the appropriateness of this decision. Was it proper to have decorations hanging in what would soon become a house of shiva?

Shimon’s early years were not easy ones. His mother struggled to support both of them. She never acquired the knowledge needed to help her son through school years filled with homework and tests.

Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.

Like many religious Jews, our bookshelves contain a variety of sefarim. Among the sifrei Mishnah, the Gemara, the Chumashim, among others, there is one sefer that has special meaning to my family and me.

The rav was not a wealthy man, but earned enough to live comfortably. He earned his money by serving as the rav of a religious community in Yerushalayim. He also received some royalties from sefarim he had written over the years. He was well known, and many people approached him for a berachah, advice and help. They were not turned away.

Like many children, some of my grandchildren tended to rush through the berachot they recited each day. Somehow, the first few words were inclined to run together. The last few words often got swallowed up, especially those that were part of berachot made before eating something they really liked.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/chance-encounters/2010/05/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: