‘I’m sorry – we tried so hard to make it beautiful but everything went wrong,’ Rabbi Silverman said.
‘No, I’ve never seen or experienced anything like this before,’ she said.
‘Yeah, usually they don’t spill as much,’ he replied.
‘No, no, no — I just can’t get over how your family gets along, how the kids play together and work things out. It was so uplifting and the singing was so beautiful.’”
Rabbi Silverman notes that he and his family were trying so hard to make things work that they forgot the most crucial component – Hashem.
“What mattered most were all the things that I didn’t think were happening because I was trying so hard to make it perfect. That environment of the Shabbat table is such a crucial key to opening up people to experiencing Judaism.”
Another Shabbat experience drove the message home for him. Rabbi Silverman once tried to arrange an outreach shabbaton for a group of young Atlanta Jewish singles. He identified the perfect target group, but weeks of effort had yielded only a handful of people committed to attending. Finally, on the Thursday night before the shabbaton, with dim hopes for success, the group finally coalesced by itself in front of his eyes.
The weekend turned out to be unbelievable, far better than he had expected.
“We make all of our efforts, and yet we never know where our hatzlacha will come from.”
On that night before the weekend, as circumstances literally turned 180-degrees in front of his eyes, Rabbi Silverman ran out to pick up some last minute items. As he got back into his car he began to cry tears of gratitude to Hashem for His guidance.
“I felt the Hand of G-d was saying ‘I will make this happen, don’t you worry. You just have to go through the motions,’” Rabbi Silverman said. “I looked up to Shamayim and said ‘do you want me to steer or do you want to?’”
For Rabbi Silverman and the other members of the kollel, that message is indispensable. They know their job is just to step up to the plate, and Hashem will drive in the runs.