Tuesday, August 04, 2015

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When the Paint Comes From Heaven

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

When the Paint Comes From Heaven


     Actually everything comes from Heaven, but most of it makes so many stops along the way that we do not see where it is really coming from. What this means is that really Hashem sends absolutely everything all the time, but we usually see things as if we and the people around us are doing it.

     Let me explain. One of the rooms in my apartment needs painting. There was a leak from outside and the paint was ruined. These kinds of things do not bother me so much, but the Arab who fixed the leak told me that it should be painted and he just came by to give me a price on the job. He said it would cost 1300 shekels.

     I am not comfortable with Arabs working in the house, but my Jewish contractor had no idea how to fix the leak and the Arab did, plus he turned out to be a very nice Arab, with a good reputation, so when he gave me the price on the paint job I agreed, but I told him that I would check with my contractor to see if the price was fair.

     Painting is not my field and I have no idea what something like this should cost. I called my friend and he said that the price was a little high and he would give me the number of a Jewish painter who would give me an estimate.

     Impatience grabbed hold (as it does way too often) and I thought since the Arab seemed to be a straight guy who does good work I would go with him. I told the Arab that I would call to confirm within an hour.

     Almost immediately extra guests called for Shabbos and I had to run to the markolet (small grocery store). I do not remember every going to the markolet at that hour. I was checking out when a Jewish painter came up to the counter covered with white paint. He called my name, "How you doing. I haven't seen you in years. Remember me? Feivel" I had not seen him in maybe ten years. A Jewish painter! Guess what Hashem was saying??

     Not only am I uncomfortable with Arab workers in the house…by the way, when I first moved into the Rova (Jewish Quarter) it wasn't like this. Back some 30 years ago, or even 20 years ago, the local Arabs were not attacking us. There seemed to be peace between us. But now, since they started up and we get such things as the recent murder of 4 religious Jews davening in a Jerusalem shul (synagogue) and a Druze guard by two Arab workers from Jerusalem, obviously I am not comfortable with Arab workers in the house.

     But not only that, it is a mitzvah to help your family first so I asked Feivel what he would charge to paint the room. I figured even if it was a little more it was worth it to give it to a friend.

     He knew the room from having come for Shabbos. He said, "I have to charge a full price to do it. There's a lot of plastering and two coats…" he said, "It will be 850 shekels."

     "When can you do it?"

     "I can't do it for two more weeks."

     "You got it."

     "I'll call a couple of days before I come"

     What a beautiful gift from Heaven. Not only do I have a friend in the house to do the work, I save 450 shekels, too! I love it.

     These blessings happen all the time all over the world, but they are a lot easier to see in Israel, and even more so in Jerusalem. Baruch Hashem!


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