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One of the biggest reinforcements in emuna is when you invest as much time and effort you can into prayer, and those prayers are answered in an amazing way...


Take the Hint, Part 3

Eretz Yisrael is certainly the Land of Emuna. I never fathomed that my prayers would be so completely answered, and in lighting speed as well...
So much has happened in the last few weeks, it’s hard to know where to start. If you’ve been reading ‘Take the Hint’, then you’ll know that at the time of writing that, we thought we’d found the right community, but we had no idea how we were going to afford to move there. I had no idea how much I was going to get for the house we were already in, or if we were even going to manage to sell it before summer.
What I did know was that I’d prayed so much, and for the right reasons, that I knew Hashem was going to help us, one way or another.
After writing ‘Take the Hint’, I went for my trip to Uman, to the Kever of Rabbi Nachman. My husband and I had decided not to put the house on the market until I’d got back, as it needed repainting and cleaning to give it the best chance of selling, and we didn’t have the time or koach to do it before I left.
I was meant to be leaving for the Ukraine on Sunday. On the Friday before, I got a call from a family who’d heard we were selling, who wanted to see the house. I tried to put them off, as I had dishes piled up in the sink, washing all over the place, dirty windows, dirty floors… But long story short, they came anyway. We didn’t hear back before I left for Uman, and I assumed they weren’t interested.
I spent three very intense days praying by the Kever of Rabbi Nachman. By the time I got back, my husband had agreed a deal to sell our house for a good price (to the couple that had come to see it in all its chaos and mess); he’d spoken to the bank and secured their agreement to expand our mortgage (if you’ve ever dealt with a bank in Israel, you’ll know what a major miracle that was); and he thought he’d found a way for us to move to the next place without taking on tons more debt: we were going to build our own house, including a rental unit that would cover most of the mortgage.
“Keep praying,” he texted me in Uman, “it’s working!”
But we still had a few more bends in the road to navigate.
Our buyers wanted us to be out after April, as they had a lot of renovations they wanted to do before they moved in the summer. We were happy to agree, as the kids had been so miserable in school that I was happy to take them out of it as soon as possible. There was just one problem: we had nowhere to go, and even if we managed to find a place to rent, most people would only want to move in the summer.
The old me would have been stressing, panicking, tossing and turning, not sleeping. But I’d prayed a lot, and I knew Hashem would take care of it. A week or so after we’d agreed the moving date, friends of ours told us that they were moving out of their rental four months early – and we could have their house until August, if we needed, rent-free.
But we still needed somewhere to live after that, and this is where things got very sticky. There were very few properties available to buy in the ‘new’ community, and what was available was big and expensive. We were still going down the ‘build your own’ route, but then we realised that there was nowhere really for us to rent while the house was going up, plus being a landlord also had more complications than we’d realised.
I was starting to get demoralised. I kept thinking: “When Hashem wants you to have something, He gives you the wherewithal” – but even though every other sign pointed to Hashem wanting us in that particular community, we just couldn’t see how we were going to do it.
Maybe, despite all the praying, we’d got it wrong, at least the bit about where to go? “Please email the Rav,” I asked my husband. This was too big a deal to take chances.
The Rav suggested that we look at one other community that we thought might be suitable, as maybe there would be more opportunities there. My husband was a bit shocked – but I was happy. Maybe we’d find something cheaper and more affordable, and it could still be a good spiritual move up.
We put the kids in the car and drove in to that ‘other community’. We drove around for 10 minutes in dead silence, we drove out. My husband got his first mouth ulcer for three years, and I got a splitting headache. First impressions were terrible.
“Let’s not be hasty about this,” I told my husband. We are moving solely for the sake of the kids. Before we discount it, let me phone around and find out about the school. If the schools sound like a good fit for the kids, we’ll just have to swallow the rest.
I phoned around that evening, Thursday night, and I quickly realised that the only school that was really going to suit my family was in the other community (the first one we looked at).
At last, we had clarity. G-d had showed us that there really was only one place that would suit us, at this stage in our lives, and whatever it took, we had to get there.
Right at the beginning of our search for a house, the agent had shown us a gorgeous, almost new, five bedroom house that was too expensive for our pocket, although still significantly less than anything else that was available. It had been bought as an investment, but the owner had decided to sell, so it was standing empty.
My husband and I had both walked round the house telling the agent repeatedly that it wasn’t for us. I think it was a bit too new and a bit too perfect, and at that time, it reminded me too much of our ‘new, perfect house’ in Modiin – an experience I definitely didn’t want to repeat.
That had been over a month ago, and the strange thing was that the agent hadn’t shown it to anyone else, or advertised it, even though there were a lot of people looking to buy. It was still available, waiting for us.
Friday morning, we drove down to meet the agent and the seller, and agreed the deal. The cherry on the top was that as soon as it was paid for, we could move in – even before the summer.
I couldn’t have ‘taken on’ that house by myself, as we are doubling our mortgage to buy it, and we barely scrape by as it is. But after all the looking and praying and trying, I knew Hashem was giving it to me.
While we were agreeing the deal, I suddenly realised that it would be the easiest thing in the world to close part of the downstairs off, and rent it out as a self-contained office. If we manage to do that, Bezrat Hashem, that was a quarter of the mortgage taken care of.
But I knew I’d still have to find a job, to help cover the rest. A week later, I got a phone call offering me a job doing something I really love. I simply couldn’t believe my ears. Hashem, in His mercy and kindness, had taken care of the mortgage – and I get to continue doing something I absolutely love to do.
If I hadn’t been praying, and asking Hashem to show me what He wanted me to do, I would not be moving now, and I would not be moving to a gorgeous but far more expensive house – it would have been far too risky. But my prayer – and my Rav – gave me the clarity I needed to take these risks.
There’s one last mountain to climb now: the school that we are moving for is currently full. It’s going to take a miracle to get my girls in for September. But as I’ve seen the last few weeks, when something is Hashem’s will, there’s always a way.

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Esther5/5/2010 5:14:54 PM

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