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.