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Lightning Doesn't Strike the Same Place Twice

Lightning Doesn't Strike the Same Place Twice

Divine Providence Does!

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Let me share a story.

There is a Jewish man named Manuel who lives in Switzerland. He just happens to have inherited a home in Sitia, Crete, where he and his daughter spend three weeks every summer. At any given time during the course of these three weeks, he always makes a point to visit an elderly man by the name of Costas, who owns a jewelry store in Heraklion—about a two-hour drive. Costas is a sweet old man, a Holocaust survivor, and an old friend of Manuel's parents. These visits usually span no more than an hour, after which Manuel and his daughter return home.

In other words, Manuel is in Heraklion, Crete, for one hour a year.


Last year, lightning struck.

Exactly at the same time Manuel was visiting, two Roving Rabbis, Avremi Gitler and Chesky Klein, walked into Costas's store, to visit the only known Jewish resident of Heraklion. They helped Manuel don tefillin for the first time in his life.

Fast-forward one year. My friend, Avi Shlomo, and I are visiting Greece. Unlike previous years, when the Roving Rabbis visit to Crete was the final leg of their Greek odyssey, car troubles forced us to change our plans, and we traveled to Crete during the first week of our tour. After a two-day stay in Chania, we took a three-hour bus ride to Heraklion.

We arrived at Costas's store and Manuel and his teenage daughter just happened to be there again! He could not believe it, and literally couldn't find the words to explain the meaning of this meeting. After a a very emotional prayer, during which he unsuccessfully tried to hold back his tears, Manuel told us that he was sure that there is Someone higher and greater playing a part in his life journey.

The story doesn't end there, earlier that day we had bought boat tickets to take us back to Athens—an eight-hour ride. Yes, you guessed it, Manuel had also bought tickets on that exact same boat!

As Costas told us before we left, "Whenever you guys come here to visit me, I feel warm for a few weeks afterwards. And today, the hair on my arm is literally tingling."


By Laima Barber
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Esther good ol brooklyn July 29, 2009

wow keep up the great work. thanks for the inspiration. Reply

leah east meadow, ny July 17, 2009

wow, i myself felt tingles in my arm. hashgacha pratis (divine providence), G-d makes everything happen for a reason! keep up the great work. Reply

SAM Sofia July 14, 2009

WOW! Reply

Malka Miami, Florida July 14, 2009

lightning? Although I totally understand your analogy about lightning never striking twice in the same place, I hope you don't mind if I qualify it a bit. Lightning, in terms of the intense flash of illumination it provides, ever so briefly, only barely describes the far-reaching and long-lasting light you shine into the lives of Jews who you encounter. On the other hand, the destruction that lightning wreaks upon the place it hits is completely opposite of what you amazing roving Rabbis accomplish (all of you, all over the world). The lightning of Merkos Shlichus rejuvenates everywhere it touches down ("re-JEW-venate!").
Even though I've pretty throughly accepted the different roles that men & women have in Torah Judaism, I do, occasionally, feel a twinge of jealousy about your adventurous travels. I know, Sara, our matriarch, "stayed in her tent." She didn't go out like Avraham to "do outreach." But was it so exciting inside the tent? Keep up your great work (I've got my own, in my "tent") Reply

michoel July 13, 2009

that is truly amazing! You must feel the hand of G-d all the time as you travel the earth encountering His fingers in your adventures. Reply

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