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Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

Stories don’t really end; they just take on new life with each retelling. Let me share an example that still has me reeling.

As we were going through all the gymnastics that go into checking in for a flight from Eretz Yisroel, we encountered one of those moments that seem only to happen in the Holy Land. Owing to my past misdemeanors, as in not doing enough exercise nor watching my caloric intake (I never met a calorie I didn’t like) I need a bit of help going through all the miles of gates and lines one needs to finally gain access to ones paid for seat. I usually take advantage of the service offered for those like myself. The usual attendants for this helpful service are often extremely kind and chatty. This time I really struck gold, the fellow tasked with helping us through the labyrinth of security was extremely helpful and within moments started to tell me his story.

When he was eighteen years old, he was planning to join the Israeli Air Force. Driving on a busy road, a large container lorry hit him head on, its driver drunk and driving at a high speed, the crash was devastating yet by the enormous chesed from Hashem, the young man walked away from the wreckage with nary a scratch. Our hero quickly called his father to share the news, and was told he should go to the local hospital just to be checked out. He followed the advice and was told the most shocking news. The tests and scans showed that he had a large tumor in his brain, and that he was a walking time bomb. If not for his hospital attendance because of this accident, he could have died at any moment. All the while he related to me his story, he kept interjecting how it was only through the Chesed of Hashem that he is alive today. “Hashem watched over me, it was He who caused my father to make me go to hospital, it was only (pointing his finger up towards the Heavens) He who is our Father and knows where we are.” The young man went on to describe how it took years for him to fully recover and how he felt Hashem’s hand with every step. This living mussar story came from one who didn’t attend a Yeshivah, yet his closeness to Hashem was astounding. He explained that he tells his story to many people, hoping that it will cause them to feel more connected with the reality of Hashem’s guidance in this world. In a busy airport there are many questions of ‘why I missed this flight,’ ‘or when will I get to where I need to be?’ This walking miracle answered all those questions, it’s all the Eibishter, there are no where’s or why’s.

Our schmooze ended at the doorway to the gate, he asked me for a brocha and I told him, I’ll give you one if you bless me as well. We hugged, and I turned onto the plane that would take me to Manchester, whilst he turned to do someone else a chesed and perhaps give another Yied a lovely story.

So, I offer you this tale, no great Rebbe’s, nothing astounding accept a sweet Yied with his story of hope.

Upon my return home, I shared his miesa with those who I met. The next morning, as I do regularly, I turned on the Daf Hayomi shiur given by Rav Eli Stefansky. Reb Eli was relating that he had flown from Eretz Yisroel to Chicago late yesterday. His original plane was canceled and he with his family had to spend hours at the airport. His wife was a bit apprehensive; they were racing the clock because they had a family chasunah to attend. Then he starts to relate a story about this fellow he met at the checkout desk, who shared his tale about being involved in a car accident when he was eighteen, how he went to the hospital, how they found a tumor…… need I say more?

It was the same hero, sharing his story of Hashem’s love and telling others that The Eibishter watches over each and every one of us. Reb Eli took a picture of the star of the story, and as I watched, I felt a jolt of heightened love for how holy all of Klall Yisroel is. I am sure as I type these words, our friend is busy telling others his wondrous story, long may he and all others, share their tales of Hashems touching our daily lives