Parents and children, teachers and students, neighbors and friends, givers and takers. The threads that connect us maybe be invisible, but we sense them and lean on them and sometimes we grasp them tight. As we go through life, we keep weaving new threads of connection, tightening our ties with families, friends, mentors, and ultimately with the One Above.
What does connected look like to you?
A Hug from Above
Rebbetzin Shira Smiles
Every year, when Rosh Chodesh Nissan comes, the memories come back. Years ago, right around that date, we were waiting anxiously from our home in Eretz Yisrael for a bed to open up in a medical center across the Atlantic, in Boston, Massachusetts, for a close family member who needed an urgent medical procedure.
We got the green light — a bed was available and we were the next candidate — just at candlelighting time on Erev Shabbos, and we were on a plane Sunday night.
We arrived in Boston on Monday afternoon, and I took in our new surroundings feeling very overwhelmed and vulnerable, nervous about the procedure the next day in this wintry city.
On Tuesday morning, I woke up to a huge snowstorm that shut down Boston and postponed our hospital intake to the next day. To me, that snowstorm was one big hug from Hashem.
One of my favorite pesukim in Tehillim is in chapter 147: “Hanosen sheleg katzamer, kfor kaefer yifazer”; Hashem provides the wool and the warmth to withstand the snow and the cold. A chassidic interpretation is that Hashem provides us with the people, resources, and strength we need to go through any challenges that we experience.
I took this picture, one of a Colonial Boston house, shortly after the storm. The strong trees protruding through the snow and the sun shining through the shadows are a reminder to me that Hashem always provides us with strength and warmth in the coldness of life.
Indeed, on this particular trip I felt those gifts in so many unimaginable ways, that they still keep me warm today.
Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 757. Rebbetzin Shira Smiles is an international lecturer, mechaneches in Darchei Bina, and author of Torah Tapestries, a five-volume series on the weekly parshah