Hidden within the month of Adar is a message of hope and healing. ADAR-‘Ani Dar,’ I live with you, says Hashem, I truly dwell with you. Purim is a time that Hashem’s hidden hand was revealed to us. The koach of Purim remains in these days till this very moment. No matter how difficult the darkness, we must always remember that Hashem is watching us, guiding us, and caring for us. We may feel alone and grapple with the ‘hester panim’ that life brings, but behind the dark curtain is the Ribono Shel Olam who loves us and will never abandon us.
At times it is we, the nation of Am Yisrael, who feels the loneliness and confusion. And at times, it is each of us, in our singular lives, who feel as if we are immersed in a life of ‘hester panim.’ Adar comes, and calls out to us. ‘Never lose hope.’
After a recent talk that I gave a young woman approached me. She shared a story that truly was a ‘hug from Above.’ I asked her to send me her story along with her permission to share it with you, my dear readers.
My name is Rachel…I met you yesterday at the HaBayit event. I go to Yeshiva University and am from the Syrian community in Brooklyn.
My story goes like this:
When I started my growth journey in the beginning of the year, your mother’s book, ‘Life is A Test,’ was the first book I read. It completely changed my life and I passed the book on to my teacher who now talks about it in every shiur and references me. Aside from that book, I’ve also read ‘The Committed Marriage’ and ‘The Committed Life.’
Right around the time of Rosh Hashana, I was feeling spiritually low. Nothing was motivating me and I was feeling down. I know that growth is not a straight process and there’s always ups and downs. Now one day I walk into Here’s A Book store on Avenue P and Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. I went shopping with my friend for Jewish books as a little motivation, but I was feeling overwhelmed with all the books surrounding me. As she was picking out tons of books, I was just browsing, not planning on buying anything. I then came across your mother’s book, ‘The Jewish Soul On Fire,’ and immediately was taken aback. I didn’t even know she had another book about her story and I really wanted to get it. But I also didn’t want to pressure myself with buying another book.
As I’m debating back and forth, I decide to open the front cover to read what it’s about. As I open the front page, it says “Hi Rachel, Blessings and best wishes” and it was signed by your mother. I was sitting in shock. I could not believe I found a signed book, especially when your mother passed away a couple of years ago. And signed to me! I knew I had to buy the book.
It was crazy to me what a full circle I came. I really felt Hashem’s presence guiding me in what to do. As I read the book, I really felt a connection that I was meant to find this. Especially when it was signed to my name!! After that, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur came around, the most holy day of the year. I was back on a high and really felt connected. It’s unbelievable how much Hashem and your mom, zt”l, helped me through the process!
I can’t wait to buy her new book, ‘Be A Blessing’, and learn more about the amazing life she led!
How remarkable for us all to ponder Hashem’s hidden hand in our life. Though we live in times of incredible chaos, and there are layers of darkness obscuring Hashem’s light in this world, there are moments of great light where we see the power of hashgacha pratis, a hug from Above.
Let us open our hearts to the beauty of Adar and discover the presence of Hashem in our every day, in our every moment, in our every space.
“Layehudim haysah orah v’simcha ken tihiyeh lanu-as our nation had light and joy, so too, may we be blessed.”