April 22, 2024
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Feeling the Divine Touch at Every Moment

Highlighting: “Living With Hashgacha Pratis,” by Rabbi Heshy Kleinman. Mesorah Publications. 2024. 300 pages. English. ISBN-10: 1422639738.

(Courtesy of Artscroll) We call it hashgacha pratis—the understanding that Hashem is continuously in our lives, and not just in historic events and obvious miracles. Hashgacha pratis tells us that Hashem is with us in traffic jams, in hospital wards and while we’re waiting for a delayed plane to take off. He is with us even in our times of suffering. Everything, but everything, reflects His will and His goodness. And the more we are aware of the hashgacha pratis around us—the more we are able to see it clearly!

Rabbi Heshy Kleinman, author of the classic “Praying With Fire” series, brings us a daily reader that shows us how to become aware of hashgacha pratis in our world, and how such a consciousness will ignite our emunah, enhance our gratitude, increase our merits and lead us to a happier, more secure and meaningful life.

We spoke to Rabbi Kleinman about his new book. We all have heard what are called “hashgacha pratis stories”—like the man who went to minyan and missed the plane that crashed—but there’s so much more to it.

Can you briefly tell us what hashgacha pratis is.

Rabbi Heshy Kleinman: Hashgacha pratis is our awareness of Hashem’s constant involvement in our world.

What does it mean to our lives?

Let’s look at a paraphrased quote from ‘Living With Hashgacha Pratis:’ “When we internalize Hashem’s perpetual influence in our lives, it can reshape our perspective on life, turning every experience into a moment of gratitude, enabling gratitude to become second nature. Life—every breath, heartbeat and fleeting moment—becomes a wondrous journey, enhanced by Hashem’s omnipresent care and love …” Even struggles and adversities are not mere hurdles; they are specifically designed challenges meant to mold us—enabling growth and resilience—making us stronger and greater in the process… When we feel Hashem’s hashgacha pratis in our daily struggles, it enables us to convert them into eternally rewarding spiritual growth.

The book contains more than 125 stories about hashgacha pratis in everyday life. How did you go about finding so many fascinating stories?

I don’t mean to give a ‘cute’ answer, but it was hashgacha pratis! I heard some stories, experienced some, “accidentally” came across some, read some and researched some. But the fact that they all wound up in this book is truly Hashem’s hashgacha pratis, to be mechazek (strengthen) us in ‘Living with Hashgachah Pratis.’

Do you have any tips to help us strengthen our awareness of Hashem’s hashgacha pratis?

It is important for people to be mechazek themselves by keeping a personal journal of their own hashgacha pratis stories. Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Rav Yechezkel Levenstein advocated for keeping a personal journal of hashgacha pratis stories in one’s daily life, as an effective means for personal chizuk. And readers can inspire others with their personal hashgacha pratis stories, by sending them to [email protected], or by visiting https://vanitefillah.org, for inclusion in the next volume on hashgacha pratis. (Personal identifying information will be removed upon request.)

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