I recently returned from a visit to Eretz Yisrael, where I go yearly for my father’s yahrzeit. As always, my husband, and my sister and her family accompanied me.
On the way to the cemetery, we were fortunate to hail a taxi driver who spoke fluent English. He had made aliyah many years before from East Flatbush, where my husband and I lived.
He told us a story of an elderly neighbor who had recently passed away. Due to various circumstances, he had been unable to pay a shiva call. When it came time for the shloshim, this man’s family happened to hail his cab to take them to the cemetery. He was thankful to be able to honor his neighbor in some way, and commented that it was a lucky coincidence.
They replied, “There are no coincidences.”
My family and I ascended to my father’s kever, where I saw a young chassidic boy saying Tehillim. I realized that this was my great-nephew who was learning in yeshiva in Israel for the year. I was stunned that we both arrived at the same time. He could have been there at any point throughout the day. This “coincidence” brought me to tears.
My sister always arranges a minyan at the cemetery so that someone can recite the Kaddish.
Through my tears I said to my father, “Look at Hashem’s great kindness. Hitler tried to destroy you, but did not succeed. And here, you merited having two great-grandsons – out of many more great-grandchildren – who are taking part in the minyan on your yahrzeit. What a zechus for your neshamah.”
There are no coincidences. May my father’s holy neshamah have an aliyah, and may we all witness techiyas hameisim with the imminent coming of Moshiach.