Tuesday, February 28, 2012


“What Am I Doing Here?”

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths


     I received a wedding invitation from a highly respected rabbi who was marrying off a son. I rarely, if ever, go to weddings. I should go, but they are always so late at night, and the music is so loud, that I am totally uncomfortable.

     I told a mutual friend about the wedding, and he talked me into going. He said that he would pick me and bring me back. We made up to meet at Jaffe Gate right after maariv (evening prayers). I ran to meet him, but after waiting 20 minutes he didn’t show up, so I went home. I called him and he said that he would pick me up at the Rova bus stop. I really did not want to go, but I gave in.

     What a strange feeling to be driving around at night. Since I get up so early in the morning, I never go out at night, not once in many years. On the way, my friend talked about his work. He is the director of a program for special needs young people. He has received 12 applications, but since he could not find proper guides/teachers for that many students, he could only accept 10 of them.

     I asked if the guides needed experience. He said that he would train them, and he gave me a list of his requirements. I told him that I knew a perfect guy for the job, but I did not know his name, or where to find him. I had met him when he substituted for one of the Kotel tefillin workers.

     We got to the hotel parking lot and the scene became stranger, even surrealistic. The underground parking was all concrete, big pipes, low ceiling, walls that needed painting, looked like another world. It certainly did not look like Jerusalem. As we walked to the elevator, there standing in front of us were three totally made up, gorgeous young Jewish women dressed in white gowns. They looked like they were dropped into the garage from a fairy princess book that spilled over.

     Then we had to enter the very tiny elevator with the 3 fairy princesses, and as I squeezed in next to the gorgeous fairly princesses, I said, “What am I doing here?”

     The elevator took us to a busy shopping mall…dozens of stores selling things that I would never buy once in my life…lots of people with packages going from store to store, or sitting in one of the open restaurants laughing…a scene that is probably very common to most of you, but to me, I was totally out of place. I said to my friend, “What am I doing here!”

     Just before we went up the stairs to enter the wedding hall, I looked up and guess what? Walking right by, with a big smile on his face, was the guy I thought would be a perfect guide for the special needs students. I grabbed him by the arm and yelled, “This is him!”

     How in the world did G-d work it out that I should be standing right there at that second to find the guy? I said, “This is a miracle!”

     My friend gave him his business card, and we went into the wedding Hall. We said mazal tov to the rabbi and his son. We saw that even though we were over 30 minutes late, still things were not going to start for quite a while so we quietly left.

     The ride home was long with traffic jammed. We were stuck behind a bus that refused to budge…total frustration! I yelled out, “What am I doing here?” And then I remembered that I had to go to the mall at that exact time in order to see the fellow I wanted to introduce to my friend, so he could get a job, and my friend could accept two more students.

     Obviously, the moral to the story is…everywhere we are, we are there for a good reason. It’s not always obvious, so we have to look around to figure it out.


  1. Thanks for sharing.

    Israeli weddings are always a few hours late... that's why they have the smorgasboard (the meal before the meal).

  2. My family and I spent Shabbos in Boulder this week just so that I could find Rabbi Locks' book "Coming Back to Earth" on our friends' shelf. :) I am enjoying it very much!

    Shavua tov~
    Shoshana Zohari


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