It was a Sunday afternoon in April. Spring had already started, but Chicago was being hit with a snowstorm. I spent the day bustling around, attending to the million and one tasks that needed to be taken care of before our trip to Toronto for Passover, planned for the following day.

That Sunday was a special day, the birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Many chassidim travel to New York for the occasion, to visit the Rebbe's resting place on this auspicious day. My husband too had flown to NY earlier that morning.

At 9 p.m., I was about to brave the winds to go pick him up from the airport. I grabbed my hand bag, and made the usual mad dash around the house looking for my cell phone. Apparently it didn't want my company at that moment for it was nowhere in sight. My stomach felt a little queasy about a 40 minute drive without a cell phone, not to mention how I'd find my husband at the airport, but with little choice I headed out. As an extra precaution I even took some cash—in case I'd be compelled to use the old fashioned pay phone.

I hummed along to a music CD as the snow kept my wipers busier than ever. The wind was howling, and the snow and rain were falling at a dizzying speed. Usually a fast driver, this time I stuck to the far right lane, driving very s-lo-w-l-y.

And then I felt the car beginning to skid.

I yanked the steering wheel and tried to gain control of the car. I was still in my lane, and didn't panic—yet. Within seconds, however, the car was completely out of control and made an abrupt 90 degree turn to the left; I was heading horizontally across the highway—straight into an endless stream of traffic! I glanced around frantically, every which way were cars heading straight at me. There was no way that I would hit less than five cars, likely many more. Adrenalin kicked in and I honked my horn hysterically, hoping to alert the cars of the impending calamity, although I doubted any could stop short enough.

I continued skidding sideways across the highway, within seconds passing one, two, three and then four lanes. And then the car came to an abrupt halt. In middle of the highway. Horizontally across three lanes.

I breathed. I looked around. I squeezed my arm. I was alive. Not a single car even scratched my bumper. I had glided between dozens of cars and miraculously missed every single one.

My gratitude to G‑d at that moment was boundless. When one is the beneficiary of a life saving miracle, the fragility of life hits—hard. I suddenly felt an enormous need to live life to its fullest, to take advantage of every moment.

But I couldn't ponder my miracle for too long. Here I was, in middle of the highway, sideways, blocking three lanes, and completely clueless as how to untangle myself from this mess. I turned my blinkers on and honked a few more times for good measure. But I was out of danger; the cars now were slowing down, the drivers glared at me in annoyance, and then veered around me and zoomed off.

I remembered being stuck in those frustrating traffic jams in the past, wondering who was causing the delay. Now I was on the flip side of the coin –I was the one causing havoc on the highway.

I looked around in dismay. I couldn't possibly back up into traffic, and didn't even know if the car was in shape to drive. I groped for my cell phone—but my trusty companion had betrayed me this once. I hoped that one of the thousands of Chicago police, who always seem to be around when I'm rushing, would make an appearance. But alas, the one time I wished they would pull over beside me, they were nowhere in sight.

I waited ten long minutes. Perhaps it was only five.... It sure felt like eternity.

A woman jumped out of her car. Into the rain and snow. The wind attacked her hair mercilessly. "Do you need help?" She yelled. "YES," I shrieked back, "I don't have a phone, please call for help!!" My words either got lost in the wind or were purposely ignored. She strode over to my car. "What happened?" "I skidded." "Your car works?" "I don't know. I think so..."

Without a second thought she stepped into the middle of the highway, stuck out both arms and yelled, and I mean really yelled, "STOP! STOP! Don't move! This lady needs to turn around!" She angrily glared at a car that tried bypassing her. Traffic ground to a complete halt, as the lady determinedly stood tall in the heavy rains.

"Turn that way. Reverse. Turn," she guided me. Luckily my car didn't fail me, and I made my way back into one of the lanes. Gratefully I thanked the woman. "Go," she cried, after all, with hundreds of annoyed drivers behind us, now was hardly a time for thank yous. "G‑d bless you," she shouted after me; "G‑d bless you, too," I shouted back—and really meant it.

I was left quite awed. How many times do we zoom by others, too busy with the rush of life to pay attention to another's need? Do we have the confidence to stand up against ongoing traffic? Are we brave enough to stop others in their track in order to do what needs to be done? Do we break out of our comfort zones to do the unpopular thing?

And here a total stranger... Jumps into the snow and bravely stops a flood of traffic... To help a total stranger...

I arrived home shaking. In my heart, I thanked G‑d for saving my life. And then I thanked Him for sending me that stranger to untangle me from the traffic. And more importantly for teaching me that life isn't about how fast you get to your destination—but what you do along the way to help others reach their destination as well.