by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Don't listen for Hashem in the loud screaming, listen for the soft still voice...
August 1st, our initial landing zone in Israel was a small just-adequate apartment. Centrally located, we could walk to the main stores. Near many synagogues, we could find our place. Close to many schools, good chance our children could walk.
But it was small and somewhat cramped. The block really wasn't our speed. It was rather inexpensive for the area, and we wanted to start as simple as possible, but operating costs were high.
So, we found another place. But August 1 was Erev Shabbat, a Friday before Shabbos. No religious Jew in their right mind would move on Erev Shabbat. We scheduled for the beginning of the week - the tenant where we were headed was leaving early. But then he didn't. He rescheduled for the 31st, Thursday. But, he'd be out early, we could start at noon, and finish up Friday morning if anything was left.
Whew - we'd be in before Shabbat, and we wouldn't be moving during the 9 days. Man tract, Gut lackt - men plan, G-d laughs (Yiddish saying).
We worked hard to get ready, the kids were excited. We boxed everything in sight. We took apart large items (Israeli closets). We were ready to move!
12:00 came, the movers didn't arrive. 3:00 came, the movers didn't arrive. I called, his wife took a message ("he doesn't have his cell phone with him"). 6:00 came, the movers didn't arrive.
10:00 PM comes, I get a call. "Akiva, we did 2 big jobs today, my guys are exhausted, but not to worry, we'll start early tomorrow, and I'll bring the big truck and an extra guy so we only have to make 1 trip." Is this a joke, you're going to move me on Erev Shabbat? But what am I to do, the people coming to where we live now are coming Sunday!
The morning comes, we're ready (and nervous!) 8:00 comes, the movers didn't arrive, 9:00, 10:00, 10:30 some arrive, 11:00 they're ready to go. "Akiva, don't worry, anything we don't finish will sit in the truck and we'll move it in after Shabbat." Yeah, ooookkk. So, they start moving my furniture and boxes. Off they go, they're fast, it's all going.
I'm upstairs directing, cleaning, finishing. About 2 hours later (1:00 PM Erev Shabbat!) I go downstairs to see how the loading is going. THERE IS NO TRUCK! All my belongings are sitting on the curb at 1:00 PM in the afternoon, Erev Shabbat. "Akiva, you see, the truck had to do a Bar Mitzvah party this morning, it will be here, don't worry." (BTW, all the workers and the manager are religious Jews.)
Actually, I think I'm doing a remarkably good job of not freaking out. I take a deep deep breath and say, ok, it's Erev Shabbat and all my worldly possession are out in front of an apartment building. If Hashem wants me to spend Shabbos in a parking lot, I guess I'll sit here in my comfortable chair and spend Shabbos in a parking lot.
2:00 PM, the apartment is empty, I sit among all my possessions in the street with the crew. The crew manager drives off (I think to myself, to go get ready for Shabbos?) One of the workers walks off to a neighboring building, and turns and says to me, "Akiva, Hashem wants to hear your prayers. Right now, you need to pray for a truck!"
As I sat among my boxes and furniture, I said "Ribono Shel Olam, if you want me to spend Shabbos in a parking lot in Israel, I am honored to do so. But if you could arrange to get us into our new apartment, I'd appreciate it."
At 2:30 PM, the truck pulled up. A few minutes later, the manager pulled up with extra workers. The truck was loaded in 1 hour, and unloaded into our new apartment in 2 1/2 hours. We said goodbye to the movers with 1 hour to go before Shabbat - enough time to get the children into baths and settle mattresses down for everyone to sleep upon. (Food we had arranged in advance.)
Sometimes, it seems, in Israel you even get the opportunity to pray for a truck.
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BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא