Dear readers,

At our Friday night meal, my daughter shared with us an incredible story that she heard in school (taken from the book Aleinu L’Shabe’ach).

Yitzchak Slutzky was a 16-year-old boy whose family was murdered by the Nazis. He and his little sister managed to escape and hide in a dank underground cellar. Yitzchak would venture outside only to find provisions.

One time, Yitzchak returned to find his sister missing. His neighbors confirmed his worst fears, pointing to the Nazi headquarters at the center of the village.

Disregarding his own safety, Yitzchak burst into the building screaming, “Bring me my sister, now!”

Contemptuously, the Nazi commander replied, “I’ll give you back your sister on one condition. Open your palm and show me that there is hair on it.”

Obediently, Yitzchak held out his hand. The commander nearly fainted. There was hair growing on his palm!

“Give him his sister,” the frightened commander shouted. “And get him out of here immediately!”

Yitzchak and his sister survived the war.

Nine years earlier, Yitzchak had injured his hand and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor performed a skin graft, but the transplanted skin had hair growing from it, and hair continued to grow from his palm ever since.

“My mother was very grateful that my hand healed, but was distressed by its abnormal appearance. She would tell me to hide my hand in my pocket,” Yitzchak recalled. “My friends would tease me, and I was so embarrassed by its strange sight. Only G‑d knew that the hair growing on my hand’s palm would one day save my little sister.”

G‑d’s ways are indeed mysterious.

There are times in our lives when we can look back at a chain of events and finally understand why it had to happen. Sometimes, it can take many years—nine for Yitzchak—until comprehension dawns. And sometimes, we may never merit understanding. We are just left with our belief that our Creator seeks only our good.

This week we celebrated the holiday of Purim. The Jews in Persia merited to clearly see how the intricate chain of events was the prelude to their miraculous victory.

This week on TJW, we begin an amazing new blog by Chana Scop called Simply Special: A Mother’s Endless Love for Her Special-Needs Son. Through her poignant and deep posts, Chana teaches us so much about finding the good even in the challenging moments of our lives.

In Me Vs. We, Penina Taylor describes what she learned about the Jewish community through her parent’s tragic passing.

May the day quickly dawn when we too can understand how the stage of exile has been set only for our benefit, as we prepare for the ultimate redemption.

Chana Weisberg,

Editor, TJW

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