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They Never Made it to the Seder...

They Never Made it to the Seder...

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It was the morning before Passover, 2016, and preparations were in high gear. The G. family, residents of a small town in Israel’s north, planned to spend the holiday with relatives in Modiin, a city located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Helped by her oldest son, Mrs. G. bustled around theTraffic crawled along at a snail's pace kitchen, cooking up a storm for the extended family who would be joining them in Modiin. They would be 35 people in total.

Meanwhile, Mr. G. piled the rest of the children into the car and set out to Modiin with the family’s luggage in the trunk, under the children’s feet, and anywhere else it would fit.

It was already late in the afternoon when the cooking was finished, and mother and son finally left for Modiin in the family’s second vehicle.

To their consternation, there had been an accident on the road, and traffic crawled along at a snail’s pace. The sun was about to set, and they were still almost 100 kilometers away from their destination. With no choice, they pulled off the road and entered the nearest city, which happened to be Hadera, a city that hugs Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

At first they considered spending the holiday camped out in their car. Even if they were alone, they had plenty to eat. But they soon realized that such a plan would be impractical.

Instead they decided to see if they could find a family who would be able to host them for the holiday.

“Excuse me,” said Mrs. G to a boy sitting in the courtyard of a nearby building. “Is there a family in this building that is celebrating this Passover in the traditional way?”

Sure enough, the boy indicated that there was such a family who lived on the first floor of the complex, the D. family.

Mrs. G. knocked on the door with her heart in her throat, hoping that she and her son would at least have a place to sleep for the holiday.

“Hi,” she said nervously to the woman who opened the door with a surprised look on her face. “My son and I got stuck in traffic and it’s almost Passover. Would you perhaps be able to put us up for the holiday?”

“Um ... sure ... I guess so ... I mean, let me ask my husband,” replied Mrs. D., and then disappeared down the hall.

Moments later she returned to say, “You’re welcome to come stay with us. It will be a bit tight, but we’ll be happy to have you. I just need to warn you that our family is on a very strict vegetarian diet, so you may find our food somewhat different from what you are used to.”

“Food?” exclaimed Mrs. G. “I have enough food in the car to feed 35 people. Come, let me bring the pans inside, so we can at least get them into the refrigerator before everything spoils in the car.”

The D. Family watched in amazement as a seemingly endless parade of fish, meat, salad and chicken soup made its way into their humble home.

After the soup had been placed on the stove, the pans stacked on the hot plate, and the holiday candles lit, the women began chatting.

“I want you to know,” revealed Mrs. D., “that a miracle just took place in our home.

“I wasn’t exactly truthful before. We aren’t really vegetarians. We’re just very poor. My husband and I have both been out of work for some time, and we are under tremendous financial pressure. In order to explain to the kids why pita and hummus has become our meal for breakfast, lunch and supper, we decided to tell them that we were experimenting with a new vegetarian diet.

“We have nothing at all for Passover, and we’re not the kind to stick our hands out and beg. We decided to have our Seder over at Chabad, where we knew we would not be expected to give a donation, but we had no idea what we would do for the rest of the holiday.

“As the days passed, and the pantry remained stubbornly bare, I asked my husband, ‘What will we do for Passover?’ He looked at meG‑d sent you with a car full of delicious Passover food calmly and just said, ‘Don’t worry, G‑d can help us within the blink of an eye.’ I cannot say that I was comforted, but what choice did I have?

“This morning I asked him again, and he just said that he had faith in G‑d and that he was sure that everything would work out.

“This afternoon, I broke down crying. ‘Even if we miraculously get ingredients, there’s not even enough time to cook them,’ I sobbed in the safety of our room, where the children would not see me. ‘If G‑d wants to send us Passover food—and I am sure He will—he can make sure it is cooked and warm,’ was his response. On one hand, I was touched by his faith, but it was also maddening. Was he making fun of me, or was he just naive?

“Now just minutes before candle-lighting, G‑d sent you with a car full of delicious Passover food, enough for us to celebrate just like we had in years past.”

Postscript: This story—which was told by Rabbi Yochanan Butman of Chabad of Hadera—did not end there. Mrs. G. made it her personal business to discreetly help the D. family, and they’ve made substantial progress on the road to financial stability.

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Kellie Poitra Jacksonville, NC April 11, 2017

Baruch Hashem! Reply

Anonymous Seattle April 9, 2017

This was so touching. It brought tears to my eyes. Reply

Anonymous brooklyn April 9, 2017

How beautiful is the faith of a jew.the fact that this story is so current makes it even more inspiring Reply

M Levitan Johannesburg April 6, 2017

Deeply touched by Mr D's faith Reply

Yerachmiel Tilles Zefat April 6, 2017

How did the family of 35 in Modiin acquire food for Seder night at the last moment? Reply

Moshe Yitzchak ben Pinhas hakohen Kaplan April 12, 2017
in response to Yerachmiel Tilles:

Simple. They adopted a special, vegetarian diet of hummous pita. The real puzzler? "How did Hashem's arranged-crash victims cope?" Reply

Pinchas Chaim Johannesburg April 5, 2017

Beautiful, BH. Reply

Tova Braunstein Tucson, AZ April 3, 2017

Shalom Rav Butman,
Of course they made it to the. Seder- the one that HaShem planned for them to be at, where they could spread their joy, materially and spritually to a needy and loving family. Praise HaShem for His miracles great and small.
Pesach Kasher v'Sameach.
Tova Gittel Reply

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