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The Shabbos Blessing


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Friday was a hectic day. The night before, I had been rushed to the emergency room after feeling unwell. I was released early in the morning, and was given a copy of my EKG. I brought the EKG results to my cardiologist first thing in the morning.

When the doctor read the EKG, he was concerned that I might have suffered a heart attack. He whisked me by taxi to the emergency room at Beth Israel Hospital. They immediately gave me a room, did another EKG, and rushed me to the catheterization lab on the eighth floor.

It was Erev Shabbos, a short Friday. The last place I’d expected to be was an operating room. I calmed myself down with the thought that it was too late to go home, so I might as well accept the fact that I would be spending this Shabbos in a hospital bed.

It was finally my turn for the procedure. All I could focus on was the clock with the minute hand counting down to candle-lighting time. The doctors were doing their job, and I was trying to figure out how I would be able to light the candles on time. They kept asking me how I was feeling, and I kept asking them what time it was.

The clock showed 4:50 p.m. Shabbos was at 5:09 p.m. I looked up and saw two overhead operating lights. I realized that the only way I would be able to bentch licht (light the candles) this Shabbos would be to recite the blessing over the electric lights. I recited the blessing and beseeched Hashem to please let them finish the procedure before Shabbos started.

Finally, the doctor was done. He came around the curtain and said, “We have good news for you! We didn’t find any problems. You are clear to go.”

I smiled and asked, “What time is it?”

It was 5:07.

I whispered, “Thank you, Hashem, for your Hashgachah Pratis (Divine Providence).”

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