by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Dr. Leon is a retired medical doctor. He owned and operated several Urgent Care Units in Miami. Now, he spends most of the year here in Jerusalem, just outside the Old City, and the rest of the year he spends in Florida.
Last Shabbos he was enjoying his afternoon meal with his wife and 8 guests when two women knocked loudly on the door. One was a friend of the family, and the other was a visitor from America. The visitor pleaded with Dr. Leon to please come see her baby. The baby had a fever, and her ear was draining some strange liquid.
Dr. Leon is retired. He does not have a medical practice anymore, and he has never once practiced medicine in Israel. He was relaxing with his friends on Shabbos afternoon, drinking wine, and having a good time. So what did he tell her? Not what you might think. Leon excused himself from his guests and followed the ladies as they hurried to their apartment. It was a 20 minute rushed-walk from Leon’s apartment.
Then, just as they arrived at the front door, a frantic woman burst out of the apartment next door yelling, “My husband! My husband! He’s choking! Help! Help!”
Leon ran into the apartment to find a 70 year-old man lying on the floor gagging, grabbing at his throat. His face was totally blue! Leon quickly did an emergency procedure on the old man’s chest, and a huge piece of half-chewed chicken came flying out of his mouth.
The man relaxed some, and his wife yelled, “Look, his color is coming back to his face.”
When he was better, Leon went next door to look at the baby. He told the mother that the baby seemed to be recuperating, and that she should wait until after Shabbos and then have an ear doctor come with the proper equipment to examine the baby’s ear. They thanked him for coming, and Leon walked back to his Shabbos table.
Now, let’s be honest, who gets the credit for saving that old man’s life? Well, surely the woman friend of Leon’s family should get the credit because if she did not know that Leon was a doctor, and how to bring him, Leon would not have been there to help.
But the woman with the sick baby could say that she is the one who saved the old man’s life, because if she had not have insisted on going to get Leon he would not have been there to save the man’s life.
But wait a minute. Even if both of those women had done what they did, if the wife of the choking man had not run out the door franticly screaming, Leon would not have known to go in to help him, so surely she is the one who should get the credit for saving her husband’s life, right?
Hey folks! Aren’t we forgetting the main character in the entire episode, Dr. Leon? After all he is the one who actually saved the old man’s life, right?
So, all of these characters could stake their claims for the credit in having saved that old Jewish man’s life. But, really, who should get the credit? Who urged the mother to all of a sudden insist on having a doctor come? Who arranged it so Leon’s family friend would be standing there when the mother insisted on having a doctor come? Who pushed the frantic wife out the door screaming when her husband turned blue? Who gave Leon the strength and will to stand up from his relaxing glass of wine that Shabbos afternoon? And all these at the exact times needed to save the old man’s life!
You guessed it. Hashem. G-d did it. And really, G-d does everything. But we rarely see His hidden hand…not at all. This is not only because He is hiding so well, but because we usually only see ourselves to be the one who is doing everything “we” do. The nature of reality is indeed more mystical than we realize.