Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz – Perfect Timing

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Operation Inspiration

 

There’s an expression, “all in good time,” which is meant to encourage people to be patient when waiting for something because things don’t necessarily happen when we want them to, but rather when the time is right. If I were to choose a Jewish version, the first to come to mind is “Davar b’ito mah tov,” from Mishlei (15:23), meaning “how good is a thing in its time!” 

However, this isn’t exactly applicable as the meforshim explain this to be a “word” not a “thing,” and the specific word or words in question are “Yehi Ohr, let there be light.” It is a reference to Hashem creating the world (according to R’ Shimon Bar Yochai,) and making light which Hashem saw was “good.” The Malbim’s approach is that the Posuk is talking about a Chacham who is able to use his wisdom at the right time to put it into practice, and again, it’s a word, not a “thing.”

What we should likely be thinking of is a different Posuk, one in Koheles (3:11), “Es hakol asa yafa b’ito, He made everything good in its time.” That is to say, everything in Creation has its time and place when it is best used. I think the perfect examples of these are Hashgacha Pratis, or as my daughter calls it, HP.

When we see things work out to the most minute perfection, we see Hashem’s fingerprints on the world and it is encouraging. It helps us fend off the seeming chaos of the world and shut out the despair and frustration we might have if everything was in the hand of people. 

A friend just went to a funeral of a 95-year-old woman. Her parents had been childless and went to R’ Shayele of Kerestir for a bracha. He gave them a bracha and a special “gebentched” coin. They merited to have a daughter but R’ Shayele didn’t live to see her. That girl grew up to have a beautiful family of her own, becoming a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She passed away this year on R’ Shayele’s Yahrtzeit. Surely it was not a coincidence but HP – Hashem’s tipping His hand – to recall the zechus of that tzaddik in this woman’s life. 

I had another story of HP this week too. My friend is a Rav and Rosh Kollel in Israel. The shul obtained a larger safe for their Sifrei Torah and the Paroches, the embroidered velvet cover from their old safe, was much too small. Plans were made to order a new one but one of the Kollel fellows mentioned it to his parents. As luck would have it (wink-wink) they had donated a Paroches to a shul which had since closed down and they had it in their home. If they could get it from New York to Israel it could be used in the meantime. 

My friend reached out to ask if I knew anyone coming to Israel. I found someone and he was able to bring not only the Paroches, but a matching cover for the Bima which the donors got from their friends. The fellow left Thursday night and by Friday at 11am, the velvet covers (which fit perfectly, by the way!) were installed in the new Bais Midrash and the room was complete. I know that you’ll say, “OK, that’s nice, but what’s so special about the story? Things fell into place.”

Well, I haven’t yet mentioned that originally there was another person I had in mind but he wasn’t going until after Shabbos. “So? So it will get there after Shabbos.” Ahhh, but this way the Paroches was adorning the Aron kodesh by Friday morning… which was the Yahrtzeit of the woman for whom it had been dedicated originally! Talk about timing.

But it gets better. You see, the person we sent the Paroches with lives in Eretz Yisrael, in the same town as the Kollel, so they didn’t have to get it from Yerushalayim. And I only found out he was in America because on the previous Sunday, I’d gone to daven Mincha somewhere that ended up not having a minyan at that time, and guess who walked in thirty seconds behind me? This fellow who ended up being the Shliach for getting the Paroches to its new home. Without that happening I’d never have thought of him. But let’s take it further.

The reason I had to daven earlier than I normally would is that I had a vort (engagement party) to go to. So, this choson and kallah had met weeks or months before, and got engaged when they did, and the party was scheduled when it was by HaKadosh Baruch Hu, in part, so that this Paroches could be hung up for the Yahrtzeit of this woman. Only Hashem has such perfect timing.

Which now makes sense to me why the phrase, “Davar B’ito Mah Tov,” came to mind. Because when things like this happen, and for a moment, a spotlight is cast on Hashem’s myriad machinations and orchestrations behind the scenes, we see with complete clarity that Hashem created and still runs the world, just like when He said, “Let there be light,” and it was – and still is – very good.

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