July 15, 2024
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July 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Every situation contains within it a possibility of success—and a possibility of failure. When the Jewish people were in the desert, fleeing from the pursuing Egyptian army, nobody knew how it was going to turn out. Many were scared that the end was near, and were preparing for the worst. But, in the end, God made a great miracle by splitting the Red Sea, and saved them.

The grateful people burst out in jubilant songs and praise for God’s kindness. While the men only sang, Moses’ sister Miriam, along with the other women, played musical instruments to accompany themselves. Where did the women ever find instruments in the middle of the desert? It turns out that they had trusted from the very beginning that God was going to save them. So much so that they had taken instruments with them, so they could celebrate when it happened!

God wants us to learn from these great women, to trust Him by being optimistic and focusing on positive outcomes. Not only does this help us to live happier lives, but quite often it even helps open us up to let the good things happen.

In our story, a boy uses his trust and optimism to get through a tough situation.

Up-Lift

“Man, how long does it take you to pack that thing up?” teased Greg, as his friend Seth finished tucking all the pieces of his tuba back into its case.

The guys had stayed after school for band practice, and found themselves the last ones out as the rest of the kids had already bolted out the door to begin the upcoming three-day weekend. Seth laughed, and said, “Easy for you to say. You just play that small piccolo that practically fits in your pocket. There, I’m finished. Let’s head for the elevator, and we’re outta here.”

The boys grabbed their gear and squeezed their way into the small elevator at the end of the hall. Seth pushed the button, and they started going down. But just a few seconds later, they came to an abrupt stop.

“Hey, very funny. Start it up again,” said Greg.

But Seth only shrugged. “I didn’t do anything. The elevator just stopped on its own.”

Greg saw that his friend was serious, and started to panic. He frantically pushed all the buttons, and began kicking the door.

“Hey, calm down,” said Seth. “It’s gonna be OK.”

But Greg wasn’t convinced. “What do you mean, OK? We’re the only ones left in this building, and nobody’s coming for three days! Even our parents think we left already. They’ll never find us until…”

By now Greg’s face was turning red and his eyes were beginning to tear. The guys kept pushing buttons and banging on the door, but to no avail.

Time passed. Greg looked over to Seth, who unlike himself seemed calm, and almost serene. “Aren’t you worried what’s gonna happen?” he asked.

Seth looked up. “Look, I won’t tell you that I’m not concerned. But I just know deep down that it’s gonna be all right. God is taking care of us and He won’t let us down. I don’t know how or what, but I really feel like we’re going to be OK.”

Seth’s optimism helped Greg to calm down and the boys started to think of solutions.

Suddenly Seth’s eyes lit up, and he started to unpack his tuba case. Greg looked at him, amazed. “Is this really the time to start jamming?” he asked.

Seth shook his head. “Don’t you get it? This thing makes enough noise to wake the dead. Maybe if I play a few ‘sour’ notes, someone will hear us from the street.”

Greg was pessimistic, but he had to admit that it was at least worth a try.

Seth blew and blew. The noise itself seemed loud enough to burst open the elevator door. The boys waited, and hoped.

After a few long moments with no response, Greg started to panic again, “That’s it, we’re finished.”

But Seth remained his hopeful self. “Don’t give up so fast. We did our part, let’s sit back and wait for God to do His.”

Suddenly the boys heard a banging sound. They immediately started kicking on the door and yelling for help. They heard voices, and felt the elevator beginning to move! The door soon opened. It was Mr. Edwards, their band leader, together with the school custodian.

“I was walking back to get some papers I had left behind, when I heard your little ‘concert.’ I put two and two together, and I called up John here, who was able to jump-start the elevator and get you out. Are you two all right?”

The boys just stared back in wonder and gratitude. Greg turned to Seth, and shook his head. “You were right. It’s so clear that while we were playing the music, it was God who was really calling the tune.”


Nesanel Yoel Safran is a writer, chef, and a teacher/student of Jewish spirituality. He blends these assorted vocations on his blog, “Soul Foodie,” where you can join him on mystical cooking adventures and glean practical wisdom for the kitchen—and for living. https://soulfoodiecom.wordpress.com/

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