6 Tishrei 5781 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Rude Awakening

We all have to deal with frustrations, setbacks, and annoyances every day. Let’s just do our best to thank Hashem that we’re not falling down on the sidewalk…


Two weeks ago, in The Fainting Neighbor, I described the terrifying incident I had with my neighbor, who had suffered a seizure in the parking lot. This week, I’ll continue with the lesson and conclusion of the story.


But this morning, all those thoughts quieted down real quick. Hashem gave me a rude awakening. In theory, I know I don’t have problems. I have minor daily aggravations, which don’t seem so minor at the time, but in perspective, they really are minor. This woman, she has a problem. It turns out she has epilepsy. I’ve never seen someone have a seizure before, but it’s horrible. Gehinnom. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, except Hamas, Hezbollah, all terrorists, dictators, murderers. rapists, child abusers, and evil people in the world who don’t care at all about anyone other than themselves and their money and power.


How does she function? How does she go anywhere by herself, knowing she can have a seizure at any moment? And yet, she’s so strong in her faith, it’s incredible.



I had this amazing clarity in the morning, but Hashem wanted to make sure it stuck. So He gave me a test that would frustrate the (fill in the blank) out of anyone. A few months ago, I lost my ID card, which is like your social security card, but no one else can actually use it. Here, you can’t go anywhere without it. After a few weeks of looking for it, I gave up and went to get a new one. I don’t need to describe what it’s like to deal with government bureaucracy, right? I ordered a new one, and lo and behold, I got a phone call from the mail lady (is that politically incorrect? Should I have said mail person instead of lady? If she had self-identified as a man and I called her a lady, could she sue me?) saying that my new ID card was here.


Great! But wait! She wanted me to give her the 4-digit secret pass code that I got when I ordered a new one. Except that I never got a 4-digit secret pass code. She insisted I did. I insisted I didn’t. Meanwhile, she’s walking up the street, putting mail in different buildings, as she’s sending me back and forth to my house to look for some blue paper that I don’t remember getting.


After three times of running back and forth, I was ready to kill someone. But then, I remembered my neighbor and what she has to deal with. So I said, “Okay, Hashem, if You want me to go through all that nonsense again with the hours of waiting at the office and weeks more of waiting for another ID card, I will. I’d prefer this aggravation over her problem any day.” The mail person handed me a note to take to the post office when I find my blue paper with the stupid 4-digit pass code that she insisted I had in some secret hiding spot in my house.


I walked away, thanking her and assuring her I wasn’t mad at her, and she laughed and said, “Don’t worry! Everything will be okay.” I walked in the door, frustrated and melting from the summer heat, and went to put the mail note in my wallet.


(Before I get to the ending of the story, I’d just like to tell you that I did in fact find my original ID card. It was on top of my piano, buried underneath a pile of clothes that I had intended to take to my friend to fix, but never got around to. So I had spend 250 shekel and hours of time to get a new one, when the old one was under my nose the entire time. I couldn’t use my original anymore because it was invalidated when I applied for a new one. Now back to my story.)


Suddenly, a strange-looking blue paper folded up in my wallet caught my eye. I opened it in utter amazement, overwhelmed by the feeling of, “OMG, you’re such an idiot!!!” It was the blue paper I was looking for!! How many times had I opened my wallet, taken money out, put money in (not that many times,) and not seen this paper?!


I called the mail alien, laughing hysterically at the fact that she was absolutely positive that she was right, and I was absolutely positive that I was right. I was also highly embarrassed that I would have to admit I was wr..wro...wro-ng. Yuck. Hate that word.


Listen, kids, we all have to deal with frustrations, setbacks, and annoyances every day. Let’s just do our best to thank Hashem that we’re not falling down on the sidewalk, that we can see, we can breathe on our own, we can eat, we can hear, and we can live normally. Each and every second is so full of infinite blessings, we wouldn’t be able to handle it if we were to really think about it.


And for those of you who really are suffering with major problems, Hashem should heal you or your loved ones quickly and completely. Keep strong in your faith, because you are walking inspirations to all those around you. You’re certainly an inspiration to me.



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Feel free to send Racheli your questions, particularly in the areas of marriage, dating, child-rearing and women's role; write her at racheli@breslev.co.il

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