Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I am a plumbing and heating contractor in the upstate New York area. Last December a customer called me about a leak from a pipe. I had done work for these people before, and they knew I am Jewish and do not work on Shabbos. They appeared to be of foreign decent; I never would have thought they were Jewish.

While working to repair the broken pipe the customer told me that they were away on vacation, and came back late on Friday night. They entered the house turned on the lights, and raised the heat, as if nothing were wrong. After they were settled in the wife noticed a faint strange smell. So he went around the house trying to find where the smell was coming from. When he went down to the basement he suddenly stepped into water. He then heard a hissing sound and the smell was more pronounced as possibly natural gas. As it was late, and knowing he could not reach me, he called the fire and utility companies. When they arrived shortly afterward, they told everybody to evacuate the house immediately. The utility workers shut off the gas, and proceeded to tell them what happened.


It seems when the homeowners were away, the rear wooden deck had collapsed. On the deck was a natural gas BBQ, which was connected to the gas line in the house. With the deck collapsing it caused the gas line in the house to break. This also caused pressure on a water line, which also started to leak. As anybody can imagine the situation was ripe for a major catastrophe. That the house did not explode before the people got home is wondrous, even more so when they arrived and turned on the lights and heat. The situation is without question a miracle from G-d that nobody got hurt or possibly even killed.

The gas company worker repaired the gas leak so they were able to return to the house later that night. The utility workers in this area usually do not do these kind of repairs, but being a bitter cold night in December when pipes can freeze he was kind enough to help the home owners. As I said before the customer knew they could not reach me on Shabbos. They called me on Sunday to repair the water leak and told me of their experience. I responded what an obvious miracle. They must have some merit of their own, and or some ancestor’s merit that saved them and their house. As the conversation continued he told me that his maternal grandmother was Jewish. I said to him you may not know this but you are Jewish according to all the laws governing the Jewish people, including Shabbos. At subsequent repair visit she told me told me that they did some research of her background, and found some possible Jewish heritage there also. I suggested that maybe they should consider looking more into their Jewish background and observance. The message that was sent to them by being saved just might be that their ancestors want them to return to some form of Jewish observance.