Summer vacation was approaching faster than he could imagine and Morris was still unsure of his plans. Having spent much time at the Chabad house near the university he had been studying in over the last semester, he was just beginning to see the beauty of a Torah life. There was talk of a trip to Israel, to a yeshiva for like-minded fellows. The rabbi he was acquainted with certainly seemed encouraging of this choice. Deep down, something was pulling Morris in that direction. But he still did not feel ready for such an intense commitment to Judaism.
Instead, Morris made arrangements to travel to the Far East. Yeshiva could wait for a time when he would be more ready. He booked his ticket and packed his bags. “If G-d thinks it’s better for me to go to Israel, He should send me a siman [sign],” Morris thought to himself. “And if I do get such a message, I won’t refrain from following His itinerary…” In the meantime, he boarded the plane to Thailand.
The trip was thrilling. Something different, something exciting. Thailand was a fine choice, he realized. During his first few days in the Far East, Morris located the local Chabad house and soon became a regular there. On Shabbos, after a pleasant dinner at the Chabad house, rich in traditional fare and heartwarming zemiros, everyone sat together for an “Oneg Shabbos.” Morris took the opportunity and asked for permission to speak.
“I’m here in the Far East for a short while. I made the decision to come here rather than travel to Israel. Before I came, I decided that if I would see a hint from G-d that I should travel instead to the Holy Land, I would adjust my plans.
“This morning I entered the bank. While waiting on line, I noticed a small commotion. A number of people were standing around a young crying boy who was holding an Israeli 50-shekel note in his hands. I was curious, so I edged over to the group to find out what the fuss was about.
“‘What’s the matter?’ I asked someone.
“‘This boy came to the bank to change up an Israeli bill, but the teller told him that they don’t exchange Israeli money.’
“I approached the boy and told him, ‘I will change the bill for you.’
“His eyes lit up and he waited as I checked up the present currency exchange rate and handed him some local change. As I left the bank with 50 Israeli shekels in my hand, I started to wonder if this wasn’t the message I was waiting for. For a couple of hours, the thoughts tumbled in my brain. I have just reached the decision that I must follow my inner feelings… On Sunday, I will leave for Israel.”
The crowd was moved. Everyone cheered for Morris. They agreed that the 50-shekel note must indeed be a sign from Heaven.
A few weeks later, the rabbi at the Chabad house in Thailand received a phone call. “Hi, Rabbi! It’s Morris. I’m in Israel now, and I’ve already begun attending yeshiva. I just have to tell you the rest of my story…”
Morris continued to explain that even after he had left Thailand, he was confused. Perhaps the story of the 50 shekels was a coincidence. Did he really need to adjourn his trip to Thailand because of it?
No sooner had he exited the arrivals hall, the most amazing thing happened: He hadn’t yet had a chance to check out the best way to get to Jerusalem from the airport when a man approached him. “Do you want a monit [taxi] to Jerusalem?” asked the man, who was a taxi driver. “I’ll give you a good deal. I’ll take you there for only 50 shekels!” The driver had just dropped off some passengers and needed to return to Jerusalem anyway. The price he offered was less than a third of the typical rate for the ride! Morris removed the 50-shekel note that he had received from the boy in Thailand and handed it over to the driver.
“It hit me strong. I realized without a doubt that I was being guided to the right place from Above,” Morris concluded.