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Riding the Waves of Divine Providence

Thursday, 23 August, 2012 - 2:42 pm

Each day, after morning Minyan we read aloud a short meditation from Hayom Yom, a book authored by the Rebbe with a thought for every day. Tuesday’s meditation read as follows, “Whoever has faith in individual Divine Providence knows that "Man's steps are established by G-d," that this particular soul must purify and improve something specific in a particular place. For centuries, or even since the world's creation, that which needs purification or improvement waits for this soul to come and purify or improve it. The soul too, has been waiting - ever since it came into being - for its time to descend, so that it can discharge the tasks of purification and improvement assigned to it.”

In simple terms, everything that happens and every place that we find ourselves is connected to our purpose in life.

When I read this it reminded me of a story that my grandfather, Rabbi Sholom Gordon, told me. While riding a train he missed his stop. He had to ride to the end of the line and get off to wait for a train going the opposite way. While he was waiting he recalled this idea in Hayom Yom, and began to study a passage from the book of Tanya by memory. He explained that missing his stop and ending up in the other station was for a purpose. He decided to do something meaningful to bring a spiritual elevation and refinement to that place, thereby justifying his being there.

A few hours after morning Minyan, I was in Ochsner Hospital accompanying Rabbi Amram and Miriam Gozlan, a new Israeli couple that are awaiting a liver transplant. After their appointment while walking them back to their room, we were talking and I mentioned the Hayom Yom, saying that there was certainly a spiritual purpose for them being in New Orleans in addition to the obvious – the phenomenal success of Ochsner’s transplant team. I have no doubt that during the Gozlans stay here those interacting with them will feel a sense of spiritual elevation as a result of that interaction.

The next day, while driving to my regular visit to the Federal Prison in Oakdale, LA, I encountered some unusual traffic resulting from the I-10 being shut down in Baton Rouge. I found myself wandering through roads and towns that I had never seen. Once again, the Hayom Yom came back to me and I figured I’d better make the most of it and try to do something good, so I pulled over and prayed Mincha in Gonzales – figuring it may have been a while since the last time someone did that there.

So ride the waves of Divine Providence and enjoy the adventures that are presented to you!

Mazel Tov to Jennifer & Neil Schneider on the birth of their daughter, Malkah Aliza.

Mazel Tov to Belinda and Rotem Dahan on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Mia.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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