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My Rejected Credit Card: Seeing G‑d in the Supermarket

My Rejected Credit Card: Seeing G‑d in the Supermarket


I did it. I took all four children with me to the supermarket the other week. It was an activity that I would normally avoid at all costs. So why would I do such a thing? Well, it was for a special occasion. I took them all with me so that each one could pick a treat in honor of the upcoming holiday.

Do you know how the supermarket experience is with four children under 11 the week before the holidays? “Mommy, I wantWas this really happening to me? you to buy me this.” “Avraham, where’s Asher?” “Frida, hold the baby one moment. Don’t let him lick the shopping cart.” “No, I’m not buying that. There’s nothing except a bunch of “E”s in the ingredients!” “OK, what am I missing?” “OK, who am I missing?” “Why did we come here again?” “What did we need?”

Finally, it was our turn in line. My children helped pile the food onto the checkout counter, and placed it in bags and then into the shopping cart. The baby was super tired at this point. I was super tired at this point. But all in all, really, we were doing just fine.

The cashier told me my total, and I handed her my credit card.


“Can you try again?”


“Really?” I didn’t understand why. I looked into my purse and saw that I had about 12 shekels, which was about 100 shekels short of what I needed.

One hour in the supermarket with four kids, and my credit card was rejected. Was this really happening to me? I saw the line of people waiting behind me. “Can I call my husband and give you a different credit-card number?” I asked the cashier.

“No, we need to see the card.”

“Why don’t you go to the ATM in the mall up the hill and take out money?” the cashier suggested. I looked at her and swept my hand towards the shopping cart filled with already bagged food.

“Don’t worry. Just leave the cart here and come back to me.” I left my oldest in charge of his siblings and the cart. I told them to stay put by the cashier, and I ran, holding the baby, up the hill to the shopping mall. The ATM, where’s the ATM? I found it on the second floor and inserted my debit card. Rejected. I tried again. Rejected.

I whipped out my phone and started calling my bank to find out what was going on. I walked into the currency exchange store to see if he knew what to do. He just shrugged. I saw a woman I vaguely recognized selling books, and I started to tell her my predicament as I was on hold with the bank.

“Why don’t you go across the street? There’s another bank there with an ATM.”

I ran across the street with the baby. We stood in line, which seemed to take three hours, even though it might have been only five minutes. Each person in line took their time taking out money, reviewing bank statements, making transactions, and doing I don’t know what else.

Still on hold with the bank, I was now waiting to speak with a supervisor.

My turn at the ATM. Yay! I inserted my debit card and, once again: REJECTED.

I felt rejected.

I made my way back to the supermarket, and as I was about toI inserted my debit card, and, once again, REJECTED enter, I saw a familiar face coming out. It was a client. My eyes lit up, and I asked her excitedly, “Do you by any chance have any money?!”

She looked at me, and I don’t know how, maybe from the look on my face, maybe from the look on my baby’s face, but it was like she just understood everything. She took out her wallet and handed me her credit card saying, “What hashgacha pratit [Divine Providence]!”

I couldn’t believe it, or maybe I could ...

“Come with me.” I told her. “No, just take it and swipe it. I’ll wait right here.”

This woman didn’t even know how much money I needed!

Gratefully, I took it, went back to our original cashier (still on hold with my bank by the way!) and handed her the credit card. She pulled the receipt out from the computer, swiped the card, and the supermarket adventure was done.

I took my four children and my cart full of food outside, gave my client a hug as I handed her the credit card and the receipt, and thanked her, telling her that I would pay her back ASAP.

At that point, the supervisor of my bank finally got on the phone: It turned out that they had put a hold on my card for a security check because they thought that someone had stolen it.

As we were on our way home, I felt like I was flying with gratitude for this experience of seeing so clearly the hand of G‑d.

What are the chances that at that moment of rejection and of feeling that there was nothing more to do, a messenger would arrive who was not only happy to help me but could? How many people can and will lend you money? And are in the exact spot when and where you need them? And what are the chances that the bank suddenly decides to put a security hold on your card? I say, “What are the chances,” but that’s my point. There are no “chances.” We are certainly living in times of “open miracles.”

Because of ready access to the media, you can hear incredible stories about someone’s life being saved, children being born to barren couples, people making full recoveries from fatal illnesses and other miraculous events. But what we don’t hear about, what we are so out of touch with, are the little events, the daily incidents, the boring and not-so-boring details of a life.

One might call this coincidence, but it’s not. It’s what we call hashgacha pratit, which is frequently translated to as Divine Providence, but which literally means Private Supervision. It means that there is not just a G‑d who created the world and sits in the sky, but that there is a G‑d who also sees, cares and occupies Himself with every single event that happens in our lives.

In the morning blessings, we recite, “BlessedOne might call this coincidence, but it’s not are You our G‑d, King of the Universe, Who opens the eyes of the blind.” When saying this blessing, I use it as an opportunity to think, “G‑d open my eyes to see how much You care and love me, how much you pay attention to even the smallest details in my life.” I pray, “I want to see You in my life, see the hashgacha pratit.” And the more I look for Him, the more He reveals Himself to me.

I once knew a person who told me, “I believe in G‑d, but He’s got bigger things to do than pay attention to me.” Nothing could be further from the truth! He loves you, He’s certainly paying attention to You, and nothing is too small or too great to escape His notice.

Originally from northern California and a Stanford University graduate, Elana Mizrahi now lives in Jerusalem with her husband and children. She is a doula, massage therapist, writer, and author of Dancing Through Life, a book for Jewish women. She also teaches Jewish marriage classes for brides.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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Suboda Rangi November 28, 2016

To be honest, I have 99 % similar experience like you. My experience even go beyond for I received 7 times more money free with Divine providence which I didn't need to pay it back. It was all free and for me! We have such a powerful G-do who loves us beyond our thinking! !! Reply

jim dallas October 2, 2016

yep! He is SO VERY BIG and, like you say, i am so very glad and thankful! thank you leana for a great story and reminder. Reply

Mlk Ny September 12, 2016

Store Read an article in the New York Post about a 94 year woman wheel chair bound . She receives $600. 00 a month pension money . Went to the bank cashed check put the money in her bra . Went to buy a pair of slippers a thief put his hand inside her bra and stole the money . It was not known how the thief new about it . This woman received help the store gave her a pair of slippers and people also sent in money for her . She has a new way of hiding her money in a pair of underwear made with a zipper . She had a caregiver with her. She was very thank to all who helped out but I would not have said anything where my new hiding place was . They caught the thief . This happened in New York . A lot stories I have read about being money stolen from people they carry large sums on them selves . Reply

Anyaegbunam, Jerome Enugu, South Eastern Nigeria September 2, 2016

RE: Helpful friends/Acquaintances Young people are rash and lend recklessly to friends. Older people are more wise. They lend to only those who are credit worthy. Intelligent people can usually a credit worthy person by their dressing and mannerism. Nobody lends to another wh is jobless. That is the reality of existence. So ELANA MIZRAHI you client loaned you 100 shekels because she knows you are capable of paying back. Its when an enemy lends to you that you call it divine intervention as occurs in the book of Exodus when the Egypians gave out jewelry to the children of Israel. Reply

Adonai's Anointed Pittsburgh September 2, 2016

Amen. Some days I must remind myself HASHEM IS RIGHT HERE WITH ME! toda. Reply

Loran August 31, 2016

God is awesome! We serve a God of miracles who will show up right on time in our times of rejection, rejected credit cards or not enough. Reply

MGC NY August 31, 2016

I'm jealous of people who have such emuna- I would have seen at the situation totally different. To always see the positive in an aggravating situation is truly a blessing. Thanks for sharing- we can all learn from this attitude. Reply

Dianne Tulsa August 31, 2016

Thank you for the reminder that we (I) are loved with a very real and everlasting love... That His love and provision is not based on our performance or anything else in or about us but rather it is based on Hashem and His character.

I am going thru some hard challenges right now and this helped me adjust my thinking. Reply

Mlk Ny August 31, 2016

Card card I no longer have a credit I use a debit card . That avoids that problem . Also a lot places require an id where ever you do your business once they get to know you your all set . Many years ago some one got a hold of my credit number called the bank asked for one their spouse . Did know how that happened because I had the credit card . Received the card made charges on it . I get a call from bank they noticed that those purchases those were not the type purchases I make . Traced it back who ever made to the purchases . Off the things they bought were taken off my account . Reply

Margarita Ohio U.S.A. August 30, 2016

Old Memory This story reminded me of a time when I was young. I was in a clothing store, just looking. When I saw an article of clothing I really wanted. The store had "lay-a-way" but I didn't have enough money to put down for a payment. So... I left the store, and started "running" home to get the money. I was not walking, I was running. On the way, I passed one of my old neighbors and who also was a co-worker at my Mothers place of work. He yelled at me and said Hay! stop! why are you running?? I told him I was going home to get some money for a down-payment. With-out another word, he reached in his pocket and loaned me the small down-payment needed. I even remember when I went to his place of work and paid him back. I always remembered his act of kindness. Reply

S U.K. August 29, 2016

Brilliant This is a brilliant example of HaShem working wondrous deeds in our lives.

The other week in a daily inspiration the quote was no one is isolated in this world, feeling isolated I tried to understand this, then today I came across an article where activists are currently petitioning the UK government to address the issues I felt concerned with and the article gave many examples of people in my situation and often experiencing worse senario's than myself. The Rebbe's (of pleased memory) words simply popped into my thoughts. I smiled and thought of HaShem with His wondrous divine providence.

Thank you, for sharing your experience. Reply

Feeling down today Jerusalem August 29, 2016

Baruch Hashem Reading your article made my far... Thanks! Reply

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