Hashgacha Pratis (Divine Providence)
Hashem does everything, but He hides so each individual believes that he himself, or the people around him are the "doers," but really Hashem is the Doer of all. Hashgacha pratis is when you see that Hashem is doing something.
Everything that happens to a Jew, everything he or she sees or experiences comes for a specific reason. There are no accidents. Hashem brings everything to us for a reason.
I had to go to the dentist. His office is in the 'charedi neighborhood, Geulah. It was a week or so before Pesach. The street was full of hurrying shoppers, everyone rushing to get the things they needed for Pesach cleaning so they could get back home to finish the cleaning. I love walking there at these times. Big rolls of very thick tinfoil to cover the stoves, huge sheets of plastic to cover the tables, new pots to hold the extra Pesach dishes…on and on,… but pretty much everyone buys the same things.
I love seeing it; the little kids, the hurrying baby carriages, and then I noticed a woman run out into the street right up to a guy riding towards her on a bicycle. She held up what looked like a black flashlight and he shook his head "no" and peddled by. I wondered if she was trying to sell him something, or what was she was doing, and then I quickly forgot the incident.
A couple of minutes later I saw my dentist coming toward me on his bicycle. I yelled, "Turn around. You're going the wrong way." He pulled up to the curb, and holding a black U-shaped metal bar said, "I lost the bottom of my bicycle lock."
"Oh, a woman found it and she is looking for you."
"Where is she?"
"I don't know now, but she was right over there looking for you."
He peddled toward where I had seen her holding the U-shaped lock part in up that maybe she would see it, but the place was very crowded.
Ten minutes later I was waiting in his office and he walked in.
"Did you find it?"
With a big smile he said, "Yes. She gave it to me."
Now we know why, out of the thousands of things that were happening on that street at that moment, why Hashem had me notice that woman run up to the guy on the bike and say something to him. Hashem wanted to return the lost lock part to my dentist and he had me help Him do it.
Hashgacha Pratis is when you see that Hashem is doing something. It happens everywhere all the time, but it is easier to see it in Jerusalem.