Sunday, July 05, 2020

Most of us are not consciously aware of the miracles we experience each day. We wake up in the morning (miracle number 1). We look out the window and see nothing but miracles all around. The sky, clouds, trees, grass, rain, snow or beautiful weather are all a result of the miracles of life.

Those who have had the privilege of witnessing a baby’s birth realize immediately that this event is a true miracle. Most of us have tried to explain to children when they ask the inevitable question “Where do I come from?” or “Where do babies come from?” that there is a seed and an egg and voila a baby is formed. It has to be as perplexing for adults as it is for children to understand how this is possible. Clearly, not everything is meant for us to understand.

When there was a tsunami several years ago in Thailand and 225,000 people were killed, one had to ask about the meaning and purpose of this natural “miracle.” Yes, there are miracles that leave us powerless, terrified or in a constant state of confusion. However, we should and, in most cases, do try to dwell on the positive miracles that happen every day. Walking through the wards of hospitals, despite the pain and suffering that so many live through each day, we have to be aware (even when it is really difficult) of the miraculous steps that have been taken by scientists today to improve and eradicate horrible illnesses. People who in the past would have died are now living significantly longer lives because of the advances in modern medicine. While it is difficult to be grateful for these accomplishments when we are living through a family trauma or tragedy, we must recognize these not-so-natural miracles.

Today we felt as though we had experienced a miracle. It still stuns us as we go over it in our minds. Over the past two weeks we were faced with a mini-crisis when Mordechai’s cochlear implant device was lost. Unless you have been through this situation you cannot imagine how frustrating and devastating this can be. Truthfully, it was the second time he lost it, and the cost to replace it was $9,000. We had no intention of doing so. To say that we checked with everyone and called everywhere we had been is an understatement. It had obviously fallen off his head.

Nina called every store we had visited no matter where it was. Go try to explain to some 18-year-old clerk in a store what the device is and what it looks like. Many sad tears were shed, particularly by Nina because she felt so frustrated by this situation. Ridiculously, she kept feeling as though she had not looked carefully enough. Conversation with each other and with friends and strangers became that much more strained. For a person with severe hearing loss, it has to be one of the most lonely occurences to watch people speaking with each other and not be able to understand what they are saying.

Today, as Nina pulled into our driveway she saw our gardener, Barbara, working on piling the leaves in the street. She jumped out of our car and ran to Barbara and asked her if maybe, just maybe, in her travails she had come across a small disc that was actually a hearing device, and she responded sadly that she had not. Another devastating hope knocked down. At that very moment, Nina looked on the grass maybe 1 foot from where she was standing, and there was something that looked like a gray (to match the hair color) disc. She bent over and, lo and behold, there it was. The only thing we could think was that Hashem had placed it there directly in front of her at that particular moment. We had walked there over and over again for days, looking for the device. It had to be chasdei Hashem (God’s kindness). There is no other explanation. It took Nina about two hours to stop crying and calm down. Our gardener, who observed the entire scene, was rewarded with coffee and homemade cookies.

Do we believe in miracles? We have lived long enough to have observed many, and we continue to see them happening before our very own eyes.

Yes, miracles do happen, and we experienced one today that we will never forget.

Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of a to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected]