The other day I watched the most unbelievable video. It was footage from a train platform in Australia. A young mother was fussing with her baby, protecting him from the strong wind. Then, in a split second, as she let go of the stroller to fix her belt, a gust of wind pushes the stroller towards the tracks. The mother and other bystanders rush to catch the moving stroller but can't. It topples over the platform, into the tracks, the very moment a train is passing by. You watch the mother reach over, her arm getting hit by the train, miraculously not falling in herself. Then you see everyone on the platform, their hands covering their mouths, horrified that this young baby was just killed before their eyes.

But he wasn't.

Somehow, unbelievably so, this baby survived. With the exception of a scratch on his forehead.

I watched this video over and over again. I couldn't believe the blatant miracle. It gave me such hope and encouragement. How could someone watch this video and doubt whether we have a Creator that runs this world?

Today I again saw the hand of the Creator, as He directs the world in His unfathomable way. But this time with the opposite result.

The worst kind.

The kind that we react to by pronouncing, Baruch dayan ha'emet, "Blessed is the true Judge."

This morning I found out that a little three-year-old girl was killed in Jerusalem as she got off her school van. This girl was the daughter of a friend I had when I lived there. This woman already knew tragedy, having lost her own mother as a young girl. Her baby girl was named after her beloved mother.

I am writing this as I try to process this loss. As I try to understand how and why these things happen. They do not make sense. But who says they are supposed to?

When I watched the video of the miracle baby, I remember saying to my husband that this kid better grow up to be something unbelievably special. After all, with your life saved like that, you better make something of it. I even showed it to my children so they could watch a true miracle before their eyes.

Now I sit with tears streaming down my face and think about my friend. I think about the loss of her baby girl, her only daughter. I look at the picture of the medics working on her with the slightest view of a pink backpack in the corner. And I wonder why I thought that a messy room was really so terrible that it was worth screaming at my kids over. Now I sit here waiting for them to get home from school so that I can tell them how much I love them.

And I just pray that in those few hours between now and when they come home, that I don't forget how I feel right now.

I don't think in terms of if they come home, but when they come home. And I get it. We have to think like that to make it through the day. But even with that naïve certainty of when they come home, how will I respond? They will have homework to do, dinner to eat, baths to take. And somewhere along the way I will most likely get annoyed, overwhelmed and very possibly lose my cool. The spilled soup will seem like the greatest of tragedies along with the misplaced homework which has actually caused me in the past to scream aloud, "Why me???"


I am not saying anything new. Every tragedy that comes close to our lives shakes us up. It is that wake-up call to appreciate what we have.

But it is not enough when it is temporary.

Why do I wonder what will come of this miracle baby and not focus on what will be of my life?

Why do I make plans for the future without really contemplating that every moment I breathe is a true miracle? Why do I not live consciously with the true recognition that I have no certainty or security of what will be?

All I have is right now. All I can truly know is right now. But do I live right now?

I am usually too busy regretting the past or worrying about the future. The fact that I have a present is truly a present. And I better make sure I use it well.

The mother of the miracle baby will no doubt live her life with a constant awareness of what could have been and gratefulness for the blessing she was given. My friend will unfortunately mourn the loss of her baby girl for the rest of her life, an awareness that will always be present. And me? I hope to work on myself so that every minute can count, for we only count our minutes when we realize they are limited. And I pray that the Judge of all judges takes us out of this darkness and brings us true clarity with the ultimate gift of Moshiach.

Dedicated to the aliyat haneshamah, the ascent of the soul, of little Alta Shula bat Yosef Yitzchak and Hinda.