Dreaming of Moshiach

Monday, October 23, 2006

(Not) Stuck in Traffic

While driving my son to school, I callled a friend and told her that I can pick her up within 15 minutes to go to the [+/-] show/hide text
Ohel of the Lubavitch Rebbe, zs'l. While driving to pick her up, I was thinking about her. We used to be very good friends but our paths separated and each went in a different direction. This past Shabbat, I went to a different shul that I never go to and saw her.

When we used to be friends, neither one of us was religious. We were both "tasting" Judaism but hanging on to "having fun". We used to go to clubs and parties. Towards the end of our friendship, we went to Barbados for a vacation. It was after this vacation that we distant from each other.

During the drive to the Ohel, we were talking about the Yahadut (Judaism) and remembering how we were so scared to make this commitment. She attends many shiurim and told me some of the beautiful things she learned. I love hearing chidushim but stories have a stronger effect on me.

I told her a story about a young girl who got married young but 2 years into the marriage, realized it was a failure and divorced. She went back to her parents' house but kept in touch with a friend she met when she was married. Her friend was single and the same age as hers.

Her friend would call her from time to time and set her up on blind dates. Divorced 4 years, her single friend calls to offer her another blind date. She says she has the most perfect man for her, except he's a widow with 4 kids and 10 years older. Getting angry at this proposal, she told her friend that she can offer this to herself and slammed the phone.

10 years passed and she was still divorced and single, while all her siblings and friends were married with 5 kids and more.

One evening she went to a shiur and the Rav was speaking about forgiveness. He said that it's not only a Mitzvah to forgive but one who approaches for forgiveness, is rewarded much more than the one who forgives.

For some reason, her x-friend came to her mind and she promised herself that she will call her and ask her for forgiveness. She called the phone number she had from 10 years ago and surprisingly, the friend answered the phone. She was surprised to learn that her friend was still single. They apologized and forgave each other and 2 months later, the divorced girl got married and 3 weeks later, the single girl got engaged.

While I was telling the story, we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Oh well, that's NY highways... Without thinking, I said to my friend "I'm sorry I hurt you in Barbados". She told me she forgot all about that and it's in the past... She also asked me for forgiveness and we forgave one another.

Suddenly, the highway opened up and all the traffic disappeared. I didn't even realize because of our conversation. But she realized right away "Look at the power of forgiveness. HaShem has forgiven us and opened the road for us". I was jealous at her immediate awareness and ability to connect the traffic, story, and forgiveness to HaShem.

On the way back, there was no traffic but to make sure we don't run into traffic, she said to me "We forgave each other totally, yes?". It was a smooth drive back home...




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו