Road Trip Adventures - Chapter 4

Friday, 6 May, 2016 - 11:27 am

Some of you may remember our family’s adventures on road trips in years past.
Last year our adventure resulted in us getting a new car, which prompted many to “lament” that there would be no adventures to report this year.

Thank G-d we had no car trouble or other trip related mishaps this year. Indeed, thank G-d we had no car trouble or other trip related mishaps this year.

When everything goes well and smooth we need to thank G-d just as when we are facing a trouble and He pulls us through. Did you hear about the guy who was on a plane that had no trouble and he made a big public acknowledgment of G-d’s kindness to him? No? Because, often we take those things for granted. When nothing goes wrong and there is no need for an amazing, zero hour salvation, we sometimes forget that this too deserves a thank you to Hashem.

When one is healthy, financially solvent, has a happy marriage, nachas from children, part of a good community, lives in security and so forth, for all this, Baruch Hashem. We shouldn’t need the crisis and deliverance to remember that all comes from Hashem.

Our morning blessings take us through a series of normal life experiences for which we thank G-d. We can see, stand, walk, clothe ourselves, experience normal bodily function, and live as good Jews – all this is a blessing for which we thank Hashem. Sometimes we zip through them and don’t pay attention to the words or the blessings that we are acknowledging. My buddy and personal trainer, Jonathan Kaufman is really into the blessing of Asher Yatzar, thanking Hashem for the healthy workings of the body. I am inspired by the attention he pays to each word and aspect of the blessing.

So the lesson from this year’s road trip is to be conscious of the necessity to thank Hashem for the ordinary just like the extra-ordinary, for the natural just like the miraculous and to live in a heightened state of awareness of how everything comes from Hashem!

My children attend an amazing school called Torah Academy. Torah Academy excels on so many different levels to provide a high quality Jewish education for them and all of the 50 plus children who attend the school. The building is a beautiful, modern facility. The staff is dedicated and genuinely warm. The atmosphere is one of friendship and Jewish pride. The academics are tops in both general and Judaic subjects. The only thing missing is enough money to keep the school thriving. Please help support this vital institution in our NOLA Jewish community by attending or supporting Shining Stars, the auction to benefit the education of NOLA Jewish children. Please visit and get your tickets to the event or participate in the auction online. Our children are our future; your investment will pay eternal dividends.

The fund set up to help Beth Israel’s Rabbi Gabe and Abby Greenberg following the fire that destroyed their home continues to accept donations at Please support them in their time of need.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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