When my husband’s first foreign personal caretaker informed me that he was returning to his country, India, I was heartbroken. He had been extraordinarily competent, and I was desperate to replace him with someone equally good. Although he had given me a month’s notice, all the agencies were suddenly bereft of any suitable caretakers who would be available in time.

My husband had unfortunately been renderedShalo turned out to be competent and kind helpless by a stroke, coupled with advanced Parkinson’s, and could not remain caretaker-less even for a day. In my mind, I had planned for the new caretaker to work together with the old one for at least a few days in order to learn the job. That plan didn’t work!

Just three days before the end of the month, I tried a new agency and was offered another Indian caretaker. His name was Shalo. Interestingly, at his birth, his parents’ non-Jewish religious leader had recommended the name Shalom (“peace”). But Indians found that name difficult to pronounce, and so the “m” had been dropped.

Before employing the previous helper, I had interviewed numerous candidates. How could the very first one who presented himself now possibly be the “right” one? No matter! Anyone was better than no one.

Shalo turned out to be competent and kind. In India, he had worked as a trained nurse, a suitable profession for his present position. But how would I know that his kindness was genuine?

After a few weeks, I realized that we could trust Shalo as much as we had trusted his predecessor, and I thanked G‑d with all my heart for His divine providence in bringing Shalo to us.

Eventually, it emerged that Shalo had never even planned to come to Israel in the first place.

“I had planned to travel in order to earn money to buy a homestead,” he explained, “but not here. My first plan was to travel to Kuwait. I paid an agent a lot of money to obtain a visa and a ticket, but he cheated me, took the money and disappeared, leaving me with neither visa nor ticket.

“After that, I decided to travel to Australia. I approached another agent, and again paid much money for a visa and ticket. This agent supplied me with both; however, it turned out that the visa was temporary, valid for three months only. Since it wasn’t certain that I would be eligible to prolong it, I decided not to risk it and canceled my journey.

“But my family and friends had already made a goodbye party for me and were surprised when they saw me still around. Everyone I met would exclaim: ‘What happened?! Again you didn’t go!’

“I had to travel somewhere. I was too embarrassed to stay home. So the next place that I considered as a possibility was Israel. It certainly wasn’t as far away as Australia. So though Israel was neither my first nor second choice, this is where I landed. And the funny thing is that I hadn’t intended originally to work as a caretaker either.”

“What other work did you plan to do?” I asked.

He laughed. “Well, I was born 10 years after my two sisters. Out of gratitude for being finally granted a boy, my mother thought she would ‘give’ me to our religion’s priesthood. That is also what I wanted to do. So at 16 years old, after graduating from high school, I entered the training seminary, full of enthusiasm.

“But then, my mother changed her mind. She couldn’t bear to think of me as always alone since in our religion priests do not marry. Who would care for me after my parents would pass away?

“She begged me to leave the seminary. I was disappointed, but I wanted to make my mother happy. So I left the seminary and decided to train as a nurse. I needed to serve people in some way. Of course, my nurse’s license is only valid for India. So here, I registered as a personal caretaker instead. The metapel job is most available in Israel for a foreign worker.”

What a story! G‑d has his ways, and as a result, Shalo (Shalom) came our way and my husband had an excellent caretaker when he desperately needed one.

If the pragmatic circumstances of Shalo’s life gave me pause, the physical crises he had endured and wondrously overcome from birth onward completely bowled me over.

Shalo had weighed only 1.5 kilos at birth; the doctor hadn’t expected him to survive.

He was also seriously developmentally delayed. At 3, he could neither walk nor talk, nor had his teeth appeared. It wasn’t until he turned 4 that he finally mastered these skills. His immune system had been so weak that he fell prey to numerous contagious illnesses and was sickly until age 5, when his health and development finally stabilized.

Today, Shalo has a strong muscular build. Finding a strong person was a priority in searching for a suitable aide who would be capable of lifting my large-boned husband.

However, his parents’ concern for their son’s well-being continued into his teens, when he also experienced miracles.

One night, when Shalo was 14 and returning home, he noticed that his bus was already standing at the stop across the highway. He looked both ways before breaking into an adolescent spurt. But a speeding truck suddenly turned into his pathway. It hit the young boy with a terrible impact. His apparently unconscious body flew a few meters down the highway, where it lay still.

The truck kept going. For half an hour, Shalo remained on the street. No one stopped to help, thinking that he might be dead. Finally, a security guard at a nearby hospital on his way to night duty passed by. His training led him to feel for a pulse. To his surprise, he detected feeble signs of life and arranged to have the teen transported to the hospital.

Shalo awoke the next day wondering where he was. (The last thing he said he remembered was running for the bus.) At the hospital, he was treated for his wounds and able to return home a week later to complete his convalescence.

“This was my first miracle,” Shalo relates with appropriate gratitude to G‑d. “None of the witnesses thought that I could possibly be alive after that terrible accident. But two years later, something else happened. I was walking in the street when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my ankle. I looked down only to discover a huge poisonous snake slithering away. It had bitten me! It took six weeks of treatment to recover fully. This was my second miracle.”

Shalo experienced a third miracle in the course of his 30 years.

He was 25 years old, working as a head nurse inShalo awoke the next day wondering where he was a hospital. While riding his motorcycle to work, a car on the road decided to make an unexpected u-turn without stopping at the stop sign. It barreled into Shalo, who went flying, hitting his head on the road with a great thump and clang of metal. The motorcycle was totaled, but Shalo escaped with mere scrapes and bruises.

“It was due to my wearing my helmet that nothing serious happened to me,” he notes. “But that in itself was a miracle. So many of my fellow motorcyclists in India did not wear them.”

Shalo is duly grateful for his life having been saved so many times.

I, too, am grateful to G‑d for having preserved him, orchestrating his steps and journey so that he could help my husband so conscientiously, with patience and love, exactly when he (and I) needed it.

Postscript: Just a couple weeks after writing this article, Esther’s husband suddenly passed away. Esther writes, “Shalo certainly made my husband's life easier in the five months he looked after him.”