After being awake all night, crying for no apparent reason, my parents finally managed to settle me down to sleep. It was the early hours of the morning and given their exhaustion, all three of us slept blissfully unaware that the tour bus we had booked for that day was awaiting our arrival. We didn’t arrive; they gave up and left without us.
A bomb exploded on that bus.
Playing happily and quietly as a child in an upstairs bedroom of our house, my brother took matters into his own hands. Resenting the fact that my arrival ended his reign as youngest in the family, he started to implement his plot to regain his throne. With an open window and me in his arms, he starts his approach to the 2-storey drop.
My mother walked in, saw his intention and grabbed me before my body hit the outside concrete.
Arriving into London, my grandmother and I alighted from our train to take the underground to our destination. Rush-hour in the capital city is not something to enjoy and a split-second after finding the first step of one of the highest escalators in the city, a passerby ran into me knocking me forward.
A traveler caught me by my hair.
Sat on a train bound for Liverpool, there I was sat at a table by the window in an empty carriage. At one of the stops, a group of men entered, shouting about their football team’s loss, carrying a case of beer and came towards me. Surrounded, they took over the table seats and forced me to remain where I was. They attempted to talk to me whilst I tried to call anyone I knew that spoke Hebrew so that I can seek help.
The final 10 minutes into the station is a constant tunnel, meaning no phone reception. Aggravated by my clear dismissal, the leader got up and leaned towards me. Square in the face, he asked me my name. I still ignored him. Shouting profanities, he started to rummage in his jacket as I heard in the distance the train driver announcing our arrival. His friend pulled him away from me and refused to let go, urging him to leave. He opened his jacket, showed me the inside and said four words: “It’s your lucky day”.
The knife glistened in front of my eyes.
Grabbing a loose life-jacket, I had major confidence in my skills and the jet-ski I was about to ride. The straps were broken, I didn’t care; who needs life-jackets anyway? You just have to wear them because that’s the rule.
For some reason, my conscience was bugging me – “Put a real one on, one that closes and stays on properly” is all I heard in my head. I relented, not really knowing why.
My jet-ski, going around 75mph, hit a massive wave flinging me from its seat a good 15/20 feet away. By myself in the expanse of ocean, wave after wave pushed me down and no matter what I did, I couldn’t reach the top. I’m not a good swimmer and I wholeheartedly thought that I’d reached the end – death by drowning.
My life-jacket is the reason why I’m here typing this today.
It seems that there is never a shortage of instances to remind me of how precious life is.
Hasgacha Pratis is a concept that completely altered my outlook. Hashem isn’t hidden away leaving the world to operate by itself, He is very much involved in every single step we all take. Every decision has a repercussion; every choice has its outcome. Many moments I have felt His hand encompass me and guide me to safety and it’s sensational to know that I’m never truly alone.
These are the extreme cases of things I’ve experienced but if I sit down and assess my day, I can see how an action or thought had an impact on something else. It’s like watching a domino trail knock one into another; each movement has an effect on another piece.
I urge you all; if you ever struggle to acknowledge a higher power, look deeper into things that occur in your life and you’ll see who’s really pulling the strings.
Forget coincidence, think providence.