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The Tranquility of Troubles

I landed at JFK, checked in for my next flight (leaving 6 hours later from a different terminal) and then sprinted (you can sprint when you're suitcase-free) to the taxi stand to make my way to the Ohel. 

Boruch Hashem, timing was fantastic. I had enough time to learn something beforehand, write my pan properly, say the entire מענה לשון, say some more Tehillim, (and even quickly visit my aunt and uncle who rest just moments away from the Rebbe).

I felt lighter when I left, calm and confident that the Rebbe would beseech Hashem to sort things out for me.

Even with TSA closing the precheck early, I made it on time to my gate and waited patiently for boarding. When I saw that the flight was delayed an hour, I was pleased. I would rather sit in JFK than in Heathrow airport (where I would be then connecting to yet another flight). 

Another hour delay. And another. And, uh... I don't think I'm making my connecting flight. The flight attendants were sympathetic but also encouraging that I might still make it. When we landed in London Thursday afternoon about 3 hours after the original time, I raaaaan through passport control and then raaaaan with my bags to the next gate (when you don't want to miss your flight, you can run even with suitcases). Although I was at the counter about 45 minutes before the flight would take off, and I was checked-in already, I was denied boarding. Ain't nothing I can do.

Fast forward through the dramas and traumas of trying to reschedule, rebook, buy a new flight, somehow get home to Eretz Yisroel for Shabbos!! 

Fast forward some more to making peace I'll be in England for Shabbos without my family, making peace that I'll miss a meeting in Eretz Yisroel, making peace that I'll light Chanukah menorah so late the first night, making peace that I don't have local currency and they won't accept my credit card, making peace that my motel doesn't have drinking water, making peace that... NO! I can't anymore!! This is too much for me! I need clean drinking water!! What is going on here??

Why is Hashem doing this to me?? Everywhere I turn, every step that I take, I'm being "messed up” again and again.

I just davened by the Rebbe. I even made a semi-difficult hachlata beforehand! Things were supposed to be smooth after that! But all these crazy mess-ups make me feel as if nothing even happened at the Ohel. As if I wasn’t even there...

On the other hand, davening by the Rebbe is real. Mess-ups aren't as much. 

When Yaakov Avinu davened to live in peace, as we learn in this week's Parsha, Hashem sent the troubles of Yosef upon him. Not as a punishment, but as a method to reach a peaceful life. Troubles force us to access a deeper part of ourselves; they refine us; they take us to a higher, better place.

I'd like to think that that is what is happening to me now. I'd like to think that my balagan is not an indication that my prayers were for naught but somehow the insanity of the past few days is the answer. Somehow, this is going to give me a better life.

In this light, the mess-ups are not so bad after all. In fact, they’re great!

What changed? Nothing, but my view.

And that’s what this blog is all about; seeing sparks of light in everyday life.

We all want a peaceful life; with Torah's illumination, life is good.

Chava Isacovitch delights in uncovering Hashem behind and beneath every facet of life. She writes and lectures on a variety of topics and is the author of Aharon's Staff: Practical Chinuch Tips from Chassidus. She also coaches parents and teachers of children with behavioral challenges. Chava lives in Eretz Yisroel.


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