It is said that here in Israel, there exists “hashgacha pratit” (Divine providence). We have encountered it again and again as a young modern nation whether it be our victory in the Six Day War or the special protection the people of the South have experienced in spite of countless rockets falling, or the many other examples which are too numerous to list here. What is not heard as often are the endless individual stories of Divine providence which occur every day. There are stories that could only be called miracles, and there are so many of them. Those stories simply blow your mind.
The key though, is to be able to see the Divine hand in even the little things, right?
So I had a date with an old friend today. We met at a mall in Jerusalem. All was well and good, until I realized that I was going to be a half hour late for a Torah study class which I attend weekly in Efrat. I debated in my mind, “Hmm is it worth it? I’ll be a half hour late for the class, I’ll only get 45 minutes worth of Torah. I could just stay here in the mall, walk around aimlessly, and maybe find something to buy… Hmm, so easy to just hang out here surrounded by all this great stuff, which I so want, though there’s nothing that I really need right now…”. Needless to say, staying in the mall with no clear purpose was terribly tempting. Yet, something inside told me to leave and to absorb whatever Torah I could, even if only for the second half of the class.
When I arrived at the class, they were finishing up a review of what we learned last week. I had made it in time for the new material! That in itself felt “Divine”. But when, after discussing a certain abstract Jewish philosophical principle, and a student said, “Well, that point is easy enough to illustrate in our lives: It’s just like the choice we are making right now to study Torah instead of doing other purposeless things like say, walking around in the mall–” Wait. Did she really just say that? A short discussion ensued about the evils of purposelessly hanging out in malls. I spent those minutes quietly reflecting. No one there knew why I was late. They certainly had no knowledge of the debate I had just had with myself before deciding to come and join the class for the remaining 45 minutes. And unless they’re reading this blog, they probably won’t ever know, or care for that matter. But for me, this was a Divine moment, where I had to stop and reflect, and acknowledge that G-d is right here with me, for better or for worse. I’m glad that this time, I made the right choice.
The Chamsa (Hamse) symbol is often used as an amulet. It is said to have the power to ward off evil and to provide a sense of security to those who behold it. The Chamsa is shaped like a hand facing downward. It is said to represent G-d’s Hand reaching down from the heavens to protect His people. The word Chamsa comes from the Hebrew “Hamesh” which means five. The five fingers correspond to the five books of the Torah. It is through the Torah that G-d protects us. In this Chamsa design, each of the Five Books of Moses is named. The names intertwine with each other unifying the five fingers into one protective unit.
This papercut is available for purchase. Here’s a direct link with all the information. http://www.papercutjudaica.com/product/the-chamsa/
Here’s hoping that we can all continue to have those “moments of clarity,” when we experience the Divine right there at our sides.