Recognizing the ‘יד ה-the hand of Hashem in everyday life is so valuable; seeing through the natural way of the world and knowing that it is really Hashem behind the scene. People growing in Emunah begin to change their thought pattern. They notice Hashem in everything they do. It is such a beautiful service of Hashem.
Somebody told me that he has a children’s book, which tells the story of a little girl who woke up one morning, on her birthday, expecting to hear happy birthday from every member of her family, but nobody said anything. She really wanted a birthday party, but it seemed like everyone forgot. She decided she would throw herself a party. Meanwhile, her family was planning a surprise party for her later on, and had hidden everything away. She thinks to herself, “I need a cake.” She goes down to the basement freezer, and it just so happens that there is a big beautiful birthday cake there. “Perfect,” she thinks to herself. Then, she decides she needs games for the party, and she found all of her favorite games in a closet in a shopping bag. She thought, “Wow, just what I wanted.” She went to look for party favors, and it just so happened there were unopened packages of party favors all in one cabinet. “Great,” she thought, “Now I have everything I need to make myself a party.”
She carried everything to the kitchen and there she saw her family, and they all yelled, “Surprise!” This little girl thought she just happened to find a birthday cake and games. In reality, each item was placed in its spot for her birthday party. This is the story of our lives. We go here, and we happen to find exactly what we are looking for. We go there, and we find the perfect merchandise to sell. It was all a setup. Hashem was behind everything. But it looks so natural, and if we don’t think with Emunah, we could miss Him.
A man named Jack told me a few years ago that he had to go to the Orient on business. He would be there over Shabbat in a place with no Minyan. It bothered him a lot, so he investigated and discovered that a new Minyan may have opened up there. He was given the number of a person to call when he arrived. On the plane, there was a problem with one of the seats, and the person who had that seat was moved right next to Jack. He spoke to the man for a minute and it turns out that he was also Jewish, travelling on business. However, he didn’t even get his name, since he liked to sleep on these long plane rides. He politely excused himself and turned away to sleep. When he arrived at his hotel, he called to inquire about the Minyan. He was delighted to hear that there was a brand new Minyan that recently opened. Just then, he noticed in the lobby the other Jewish man who had sat next to him on the plane. He went over to him and told him that he had just found out about the new Minyan, if he was interested. The man responded, “Wow. I am so excited. Everyone told me that there is no Minyan here. But, I am in the year of saying Kaddish for my father, and I never missed a Kaddish yet. This was going to be my first time. You just saved me. Thank You.” Jack asked the man’s name, and he recognized it. “Who was your father?” he asked. It turns out, that man’s father was the one who helped put Jack into business years before and taught him everything he knew about the business. Now, the מכין מצעדי גבר-the Planner of man’s footsteps, with clear Hashgacha Pratit, set it up that he could help him by enabling his son to say Kaddish for him.
Hashem made a problem with the chair on the plane and put him right next to Jack to get them to meet. It was all a setup. Hashem plants what we need just in the right spot at the right time. If we recognize it and thank Him, then we are growing in Emunah.
- Daily Emunah, Lesson # 812, Rabbi David Ashear
The Gemara says in Masechet Shabbat that the holiday of Hanukah was established as days of praise and thanks to Hashem. It is so important for a person to get into the habit of constantly thanking Hashem. Doing so, not only builds our relationship with Him, but also enables us to relieve stress and have a deeper appreciation of what we have in life.
Rabbi Alexander Ziskind, the Yesod v’Shoresh HaAvoda, describes in his diary how he used to thank Hashem for everything that happened to Him, both the good and the bad. He writes that he was privileged to have a private study where he was able to learn and grow in yirat shamayim. Every time he would think about what a gift that was, he would say thank You Hashem with great joy. He would say, “Hashem, I know I’m not worthy of such a chesed from You, but You have given it to me out of pure kindness.” When he would say the beracha of שעשה לי כל צרכי in the morning, he would think about how much he loved that office and how kind Hashem was for giving it to him.
He describes how , when he would leave his house, he would ask Hashem in his own words to protect him from harm. When he arrived at his destination, he would say thank you. Whenever he would receive a letter from one of his children saying hello and everything is okay, he would thank Hashem for the great news that his child is happy. If he would find out that one of his children succeeded in a certain area or was following the ways of the Torah, he would excitedly thank and praise Hashem.
When he would don a nice suit in honor of Shabbat, he would thank Hashem for being able to afford nice clothing. He would then thank Hashem again a few times while he was actually wearing the suit.
He relates that because he prayed a long Amidah, he would usually miss answering the Kedusha in Chazarat HaShatz of Shacharit and Mincha and the Kadish of Arvit. When he was able to answer Kedusha or say Amen to the Kadish, he was so thankful to Hashem for giving him that merit.
Any time he needed something and was able to obtain it without having to borrow from others, he would thank Hashem for being so generous with him. Every little pleasure he had, he would appreciate it and make a special thank you to Hashem for giving it to him.
When things happened that seemed to be bad, he would say, “I know, Hashem, this is from You. You are in control and this is exactly what I need now.” Whether it was an excruciating pain in his body or just forgetting to do something that cost him extra time, he would recognize that it was from Hashem.
If he would have any relief from the pain, he would immediately thank Hashem. If he almost forgot something, or almost had a loss, he would thank Hashem for saving him from a potential problem. He said that he worked on himself to the point that he had full belief that everything that happened to him throughout the day was being caused directly by Hashem. This brought him to a tremendous love for Hashem.
The Shomer Emunim in (Section 1, p. 135) writes that the Chozeh m’Lublin had a revelation from heaven how precious this service of Rabbi Ziskind was to Hashem. This was also the secret of Yosef HaTzaddik’s success in Mitzrayim. He had the שם שמים שגור בפיו .
It says in Tehilim, טוֹב , לְהֹדוֹת לַ ה’ , it is so beautiful to thank Hashem. The more we do it, the closer we will come to Him , and the happier we will be.
- Daily Emunah – Rabbi David Ashear, Lesson #672