May 24, 2024
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Seeing Hashem’s Personal Involvement in Our Lives

A couple of years ago, our good friends Rabbi Avrohom and Ayala Weinrib made a wedding for their daughter in Lakewood. Since we had just started looking into shidduch (matchmaking) ideas for our daughter Aviva, we decided to bring our daughter to the wedding and made an appointment to see a shadchan after the chuppah.

At the wedding, I met a good friend of mine, Rabbi Dovie Keilson. Knowing that Rabbi Keilson was the mashgiach at Mesivta Chaim Shlomo in Far Rockaway, I asked him, “Perhaps you have an idea for a shidduch for my daughter? She just started shidduchim and she’s here in Lakewood tonight. Would you like to meet her?” He hesitated, saying he doesn’t really do shidduchim, but he agreed. In truth, he was being modest; we discovered that he had made 17 shidduchim!

We kept our appointment with the shadchan after the ceremony, but then rushed back to the wedding hall to have Rabbi Keilson meet our daughter. It was a great meeting! When Rabbi Keilson walked back into the chasunah, he saw his nephew, Yosef Keilson (son of Tzvi and Perri Keilson), and said, “Yosef, I just met your kallah. Do you want to come out to meet her?” Yosef smiled, but wasn’t interested at that time. However, a few months later Yosef and Aviva did go out on a date, and it was a shidduch! Next week is their second anniversary.

Last summer my wife was speaking with our daughter Aviva and asked her for shidduch suggestions for a close family friend. She replied, “How about the other Yosef Keilson, son of Rabbi Dovie Keilson?” I called Rabbi Keilson and I said, “It’s payback time. I have a great suggestion for a shidduch for your son, Yosef!” They went on a date and it was a shidduch!

After they got engaged, Rabbi Keilson told me, “I realized when you came to me asking to set up your daughter, that Hashem was actually saying to me, “I have a shidduch for your son.” By helping your daughter, the path was set to find my son his shidduch as well!”

There is a mitzvah in Parshas Eikev called “uvo sidbak, you should cling to Hashem.” How can one cling to Hashem, Who is infinite and intangible? While the Rambam explains that this is fulfilled by attaching ourselves to talmidei chachomim, Torah scholars, marrying our daughters to talmidei chachomim, or doing business with talmidei chachomim, the Ramban says that it’s referring to doing whatever we can to realize and internalize that Hashem is part of our lives. Although clinging to Hashem might sound reserved for people on very high levels, it’s a mitzvah for every person. Each of us has the ability to see Hashem involved in his life. The Chovos HaLevavos says that bitachon, faith in Hashem, involves seeing Hashem in all areas of our lives. Hashem responds to our faith.

One way to build bitachon is to recognize the hashgacha peratis, personal involvement, of Hashem in our lives. The Chazon Ish says that there is no greater area in which to see the Hand of Hashem than shidduchim. We and the Keilsons saw it so clearly through our children. It was amazing.

Parshas Eikev opens with the words, “V’haya eikev tishme’un…” Hashem tells Klal Yisrael, “If you will listen to the mitzvos, I promise you a blessing.” All the commentators are troubled by the use of the word “eikev” to mean “because.” Why is this word used? The word “eikev” also means “heel”! Rashi explains that Hashem is indicating that the bracha is reserved for mitzvos which people “step on with their heel,” meaning that they may consider those mitzvos to be less important and not perform them with the proper kavana, devotion. However, these mitzvos actually propel us forward in our connection to Hashem.

I would like to suggest another interpretation of “v’haya eikev.” The Gemara says that the word “v’haya” is used in reference to something joyous. If we use the performance of mitzvos to see Hashem in every step we take, that will breed happiness in us and a bracha for our success.

May Hashem give shidduchim to all those who are looking, and may we all merit to see Hashem’s loving Hand in our lives.


Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim is the associate rosh yeshiva of Passaic Torah Institute (PTI)/Yeshiva Ner Boruch. Rabbi Bodenheim can be reached at [email protected]. For more info about PTI and its Torah classes, visit www.pti.shulcloud.com

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