by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
When you see the Hand of G-d, the hand of doubt must be extra strong to offset it. For, this world only exists to give you the choice, the free will, to turn to G-d, or (c's'vsh) turn away from G-d.
G-d's presence is strongest in the Holy Land, in Israel. If a person chooses to look, and to live with faith, they'll see it, sometimes even clearly. And if not (c's'vsh)? They'll be beset by troubles, they'll live in a "land that eats it's inhabitants", or if they don't merit to be woken up by G-d, they'll live a fine life but find themselves not being non-religious, but literally feeling compelled to be anti-Jewish-anti-religious (a state of being that exists ONLY in Eretz Yisroel), as to avoid seeing the blessings that shine within view in Israel, they have to actively fight them off.
...Traffic has been terrible in the mornings. I've been traveling different routes to try to find a reasonable path to a work site. After days of spending 3 hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic daily, my frustration level was at it's maximum. But, this morning the road seemed clear, I was cruising down the highway at very high speed. I was relieved and in a good mood, the route seemed possible this day and I might actually make it there by a reasonable time.
Suddenly, THUMP THUMP THUMP, the car wasn't losing control but had a very loud sound like a blown tire. I slowed and pulled over. With trucks blowing past me, I put on my yellow safety vest (Israeli traffic rule #2), put out my emergency reflective triangle (Israeli traffic rule #1), and went to examine the situation. The plastic hub cap had cracked almost in half, with a chunk bouncing off the side of the tire. The situation was undriveable, and I did not have my cellphone with me.
In my white shirt and office-style work clothes, I tried to remove the hub cap. No go, it was bolted behind the lug nuts (tire bolts). At this point I just started to laugh (it was either that or cry). So much for getting there, and lets see if I can figure out how to deal with this.
Without going into all the details, I managed to remove the bolts, remove the hubcap, barely avoid having the tire fall off the car (and the car fall over) and onto me, get it all put back together, get grease up to my wrists but not on my shirt, and get into the office in a reasonable time.
When I got home at the end of the day and told the story to my wife, she responded "did you say tefilos haderech before you started out today?" Indeed, I had NOT.
This is Eretz Yisroel. Either you walk the path of Hashem, or you're subject to the crazy random occurrences of the world, like a hub cap splitting in half and a tire almost falling on you. (In the rest of the world, things from Hashem seem to be random good, and the occurrences of the world random minor annoying bad. In Israel, it seems to be MUCH MORE IN YOUR FACE.)
Davening all the time becomes much more real.
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BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא