S ome rabbis never go to sleep before 2 a.m. and always wake before five.

I’m not one of them.

I’m not a night person. I’m much more the type to live by Benjamin Franklin’s famous aphorism, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

And while I question if it has made me wealthy or wiser, I certainly feel healthier when I get to bed at a reasonable hour.

One evening I was invited to a meeting dealing with kids at risk, at the home of an “expert”: Shalom Rosen (names changed). I would have preferred meeting in Passaic; after all, I was the rav. The “expert,” however, lives in Far Rockaway. So after a two-hour trip, I arrived at the home of Shalom Rosen and we had our scheduled get-together.

Though the gathering was cordial, nothing substantial was accomplished, and I was somewhat disappointed. To be totally honest (and I say this with a sense of embarrassment), I was more than a bit frustrated, and I couldn’t help but wonder why Hashem had orchestrated for me to travel to Long Island just to meet Shalom Rosen.

On my drive home, there appeared out of nowhere a concrete island; and unfortunately, I landed on top of the landmass. I gingerly lowered my vehicle from atop the concrete perch, but as I did so, I heard the discomfiting screech of steel scraping the pavement.

I contemplated just driving home while attempting to pretend I didn’t hear the grinding sounds emanating from the bottom of my vehicle. I had no idea what was going on down there as my knowledge of cars is limited to using my directional signal. Would it be dangerous to drive?

Suddenly, I thought, I’ll call Chaveirim.

I’m well acquainted with the wonderful Chaveirim organization, as two of my sons are members. Nevertheless, I’d never needed to call.

In less than five minutes, an angel appeared: A large SUV pulled up, and out stepped the most beloved Jew I had ever seen in my life.

Although the windchill was below zero, he promptly crawled under the car, diagnosed the problem, went back to retrieve some sort of wire, and in under five minutes he pronounced, “You’re good to go. You’ll get home safely.”

I looked at this Heaven-sent miracle worker, and I wondered what I had done to merit meeting a Jew willing to abandon his family and his warm house at 10 p.m. in subzero weather to help another Yid. I thanked him profusely and asked if I could have an envelope to make a donation to the dedicated men of Chaveirim.

As he handed me the envelope, I said, “By the way, I don’t even know your name.”

“My name is Rosen, Shalom Rosen.”

My jaw dropped.

“Your name is Shalom Rosen? Are you related to Shalom Rosen the askan I came all the way out here to meet?”

“Sorry, I never heard of him, but I’m getting another call, I have to go. And don’t worry — you’ll be fine!”

I stood speechless in the frigid night as a flaming warmth filled my heart; I felt secure and sheltered.

Suddenly the chilly cloud of confusion lifted, and a vision of clarity embraced me in its comforting grip.

It was now so clear to me how His plan was that I had to drive to Far Rockaway to meet Shalom Rosen — He just didn’t reveal to me, until the end of my journey, just which Shalom Rosen I had to meet.

Once again, I was humbled by the realization that although I’d thought Shalom Rosen had to meet me, it was I who had to meet Shalom Rosen.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 701)