Sunday, March 21, 2010

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Hashgocha Protis, Again

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by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

Remember, Hashgocha Protis (Divine Providence) is not when G-d does something for you. He is always doing everything for everyone. Hashgocha Protis is when you see that G-d is stepping in and doing something for you.

I was on my way to daven (pray) at the Kotel, when my shoe lace became untied. I stooped down and tied it, reminding myself that I had to wash my fingers before I davened.

As happens quite often these days, I forgot all about it.

When I walked into the Kotel area, I noticed that one of the straps of the head tefillin on someone standing by the tefillin stand was upside-down. The outer black surface of the strap was against his neck. I called over to the man who had helped him to put them on and told him that the strap was backwards. He didn't understand me. I said it again, louder. He looked at me as if I were speaking Chinese. I said it again louder, and I even pointed my finger to the problem. He walked around the guy and looked at his face!

By then I was too frustrated to wait. I huffed over and turned the strap around myself. You can imagine how I looked at the guy who couldn't understand my instructions 3 times! When I turned the strap over, I touched the young man's neck.

"Okay, no big deal. I'll go wash my fingers," I thought. It was then that I remembered that I had forgotten to wash after touching my shoelace.

Normally, the fellow I told to fix the strap 3 times would have heard me the first time. G-d had blocked the communication!

Of course, beside the experience of Hashgocha Protis, there is a side issue here. How come I got so frustrated when G-d was doing me such a big favor?

The importance of discussing these incidents is not for you to marvel at our lives, but so that you will be encouraged to look carefully at your life. If you look, you will see that these things also happen to you. Sadly though, most people do not pay very much attention to the subtle things that are happening in their own lives.

Clarification on washing: If you tie your shoelaces, AND they are not dirty, AND you do not touch your shoes, you do not have to wash. If you touch someone's skin (including your own) in an area that is normally left uncovered you do not have to wash.

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