I think it is safe to say that in these days which are filled with “chagim stress,” the last thing that one wants to add to the stress plate is the sudden DIS-connect from the internet service. However, as “mazel” would have it, I found myself in the queue for addressing the internet “crisis” with the Israeli phone service provider Bezeq today; and when I thought that I heard after spending an hour on the phone that I would NOT have internet service until next Tuesday, I flipped out and took out my frustration on the poor agent at the other end of the line as if it was all his fault!
TIME TO ASK FORGIVENESS
And after ranting and raving for a few moments, and finding a very professional and patient person at the other end of the line, I caught myself and realized that during these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur my behavior was not going to win any accolades in the heavenly court.
So I stopped (and this is the “Israeli” part of the story), and I asked the agent what his name was and hearing that it was the name of a fellow Jew, I immediately asked “mehilla”(forgiveness) from the agent for my conduct. And I then explained that I was the President of an amuta (Israeli non profit), and that I had to have a working internet in order to take care of some urgent communal matters today.
And from that point on, the whole conversation changed, as he seemed so taken by the fact that I was working on behalf of an amuta. And that recognition gave me the opening to inquire if he was married or not, since I told him the mission of the amuta was for marriage education.
TIME TO GET MARRIED
And once he said that although he was not yet married, but was part of a zug (couple), his marital status became the focus of the rest of the conversation, as I encouraged him to marry her if he felt she was the right one and that he should also not delay.
And then I inquired about his Hebrew name and mother’s to include him in my own prayers for the coming year. And then he related that he was in fact a baal teshuvah and was actively learning Torah and becoming Torah observant.
And I then asked him to call me when he got engaged, which he promised to do. We wished each other the traditional greeting before Yom Kippur of Gmar chatima tova and wishes for good health and other brachot.
And we both considered the call to be hashgacha pratit (divine providence) to be having a conversation like we were having during this auspicious time period and he was glad he could help my non profit regain the internet which he did.
FROM STRANGERS TO FAMILY
And so from strangers (and with my initial attitude of almost adversarial strangers) to feeling like family members, I felt we had exemplified what this time period is all about – finding the way to connect with fellow Jews and wish each other prayers for a good finish for Yom Kippur.
And in the process I hope to receive the call very soon from my newest family member sharing with me the news that he is a groom/chatan. And then we can talk about the marriage education assistance that our amuta can help provide!
Wishing the readers a gmar chatima tovah and a prayer to be sealed for a good and healthy and peaceful year. And a year that we all become “family” to one another.
picture property of Susan Barth design from Oach printers