I came across a gorgeous article by Rav Issachar Frand and thought to share it with you in full. It’s all about recognizing the hand of Hashem in our lives. He writes…I received more feedback from my nine-year-old grandson’s story that he shared in a telephone interview with the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation than I do from many of my droshas. This was his story: Mummy took us to the library. We were half way there and then Mummy realised that she forgot to bring the books to return to the library. Mummy drove home and when she got home she realised that she left a pot on the stove and there was no water in the pot. The fire was still on and there would have been a fire, but Hashem saved us!
That’s how a nine-year-old felt Hashem’s hand in his day to-day life. He saw and felt tangibly the loving, guiding hand of Hashem! One practical idea to keep our Yiddishkeit tangible and make our connection with Hashem concrete is to write down stories where you personally felt Hashem’s intervention in your life. Every time you feel Hashem’s guidance in your life, capture that moment by writing it down. This will raise our level of Yiddishkeit from being dry to us having an intimate connection to Hashem. Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky zt’’l related a story of a group of boys in Cheder in old-time Lithuania. They were all laying jacks and one child lost all of his jacks. Trying to think of a creative way to acquire some jacks, he told to his friend, “If you give me half of your jacks, I’ll give you half of my Olam Habah.” The teacher got very angry at him. “You’re giving your Olam Habah away for jacks?!” Rav Yaakov points out to us how in those days, to a child in Lithuania, Olam Habah was a reality. It was real! It was a commodity! It was something that you could trade because Hashem was real and tangible in their lives. That’s what we have to do. We have to bring Hashem into our lives. We have to make Him real. We have to feel tangibly that there is a Ribono Shel Olam. By writing down the stories of when we feel the hashgachas Hashem in our lives, they will have an impact on us. When we seize and capture the moments where we felt Hashem loves care and protection, we will develop a tangible intimacy with Hakodosh Boruch Hu.
Shabbat Shalom and G-d Bless.