Roy Neuberger - Mar. 15, 2019

Haman cast lots concerning which day he would try to destroy all the Jews, G-d forbid. Since he was “all powerful” and ruled a kingdom which spanned the entire world, how could the Jews escape? He had it figured out. It was “all over.”

That is what our enemies think, but the truth is like this: “Rabos machashavos b’lev ish … many thoughts are in a man’s heart, but only the will of Hashem will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21)

On February 25, my wife and I had a date to speak to the students at the Jewish Resource Center at the University of Michigan. Twice a year, for over a decade, we have traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Rabbi Fully Eisenberger and his colleague, Rabbi Yitz Pierce, preside over this amazing program.

On February 24, we received an email from American Airlines: flight cancelled due to weather! OK, let’s reschedule for tomorrow morning. But at 7:40 a.m. on February 25, we received another email: flight cancelled due to high winds! What now? It’s all over!

But wait! Those amazing kids in Ann Arbor! We can’t cancel! Let’s drive! It’s only ten and a half hours, according to WAZE. If we leave right after morning prayers, we can make it! And we loaded the car.

At 8:40 we left the house. At the Whitestone Expressway we stopped dead! Miles of cars were backed up, as far as the eye could see. (We later found out police were blocking the bridge to filter out trucks; they were afraid they would blow over in the sixty-mile-per-hour winds.)

Now what?

I got a bright idea. I pulled out of the traffic and went around to approach the bridge from the other direction. Brilliant … only that direction was also stopped dead! No one was moving anywhere! And we had to be in Ann Arbor by 8:45 pm with a ten-hour drive ahead of us!

It’s all over! No way we can make it!

I pulled into a gas station. We needed gas. And then we saw these people running around like madmen! What is going on? I looked at the gas pump: a car was on fire! This is all we need! I jumped in the car and got out of there like a rocket!

Now it’s really all over! It is not meant to be! Everything is going wrong! Let’s turn around and head home. We are defeated!

And then it happened! Traffic started moving and we sped across the bridge! From then on … clear sailing all the way to Ann Arbor, Michigan!

“A voice calls out in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way of Hashem. Make a straight path in the desert, a road for our G-d. Every valley will be raised and every mountain and hill will be lowered; the crooked will become straight and heights will become valley. The Glory of Hashem will be revealed and all flesh will see that the mouth of Hashem has spoken.’” (Isaiah 40:3)

We had a gorgeous program in Ann Arbor! One really cannot give up!


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