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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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The Cat Lady’s Message

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Back home I continued on with my day, forgetting about my bakashah.

That afternoon, I happened to step outside my house and saw a frum woman who I didn’t know near our house. She told me that she had come from Israel to collect money, as her husband was very sick and her son was fighting for his life in the hospital due to an accident. I was horrified by her situation, with both her husband and her son in such a horrific state. How much can a person take?

Hashem was hitting me over the head yet again with this message. But this time Hashem had something more to tell me. The woman was a warm, open person and I liked her right away. She shared some of her feelings with me.

“Sometimes I feel like I just can’t go on,” she said in her Israeli-accented broken English. Could I ever relate to that!

“I go for days without eating,” she continued. “But then I daven and Hashem gives me strength.” She went on to elaborate about the chizuk she gets when she davens, and how Hashem helps her go on. She spoke about this for a while and with great feeling.

Standing in front of me was a woman whose problems were clearly far worse than mine. How could someone stay sane with such tzaros? But although Hashem had still not sent her a yeshuah, she didn’t stop davening. She continued to daven because by doing so, she felt Hashem’s closeness; she felt Hashem sending her the strength to cope. She felt that Hashem cares about her.

I gave her something, but as things were financially tight for us, I couldn’t give her much – despite wishing I could have given her more. In reality, she gave me much more than I gave her.

I went back into the house, straight for my Tehillim. I was davening again. How could I not daven when Hashem just tapped me on the shoulder and told me He wants me to continue davening?

We never know whom Hashem will choose to deliver a message to us. It can be a child, a teacher, a neighbor, or a stranger. The person could be intelligent or otherwise. And little does the messenger sometimes realize that from his or her mouth came the words we needed to hear at just that time.

Henia is a freelance writer. She can be contacted at heniar@ymail.com.

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I was going crazy. I couldn’t stand it another minute. Yes, I was feeling sorry for myself.

I had been blessed, b’li ayin hara, with children very close in age. Surely having one child after the other was a blessing to be grateful for. I knew there were many people who would give a million dollars to have such a “problem.” But still, it was very stressful. But that wasn’t the hardest part, and it wasn’t the main reason for my feelings of despair.

I’d like to believe that I at least have average intelligence. And when in need of inspiration or to learn something to facilitate my personal growth, I gain much from adult tapes and books. I’m greatly inspired by the words of the plethora of writers and speakers who target their words to adult audiences; their sentence structure and vocabulary meant only for us grownups. Their valuable lessons are often arrived at through a series of logical steps any adult with reasonable intelligence should be able to follow. And follow I do.

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