Miraculous Intervention

Arriving at Penn Station,in Newark, N.J., I had thought it would be a brief walk to the local train station. I sought out the Information Desk, and asked how to get there. I was told that I needed to take the light rail to the Broad Street Station. So, I purchased a ticket to my destination, via the light rail to Broad Street. When I found the entrance to the light rail, after walking down and around several corridors inside of Penn Station, I opened the door, and, lo and behold, I was astonished to see the following:

The stairs down to the platform were full of people, and the platform was completely occupied by would be passengers waiting for their train. I was not sure what to do, nor what side of the platform the train that I needed to take would be arriving. All of a sudden, a guy walked in behind me, and as he passes by and walks down the staircase past all of the people on the stairs, he says into his cell phone at his right ear, “Yeah, Broad Street, I’m going to Broad Street.” I instantly thought to myself, “Follow him.”

So, I followed him,
down the stairs to the platform, where he got on the train that had immediately arrived. To be sure, I asked somebody sitting on the platform on a bench, if that’s the train to Broad Street. He responded, “yes.” So, I hopped on the train. I asked the guy who had unknowingly led me to the right train, how long until the Broad Street Station. After letting me know, I told him that I’m trying to catch a train at 5:28 p.m., he said that I had plenty of time. Yet, he would only have one minute to catch his train, once the light rail arrived at Broad Street Station.

Before the light rail left Penn Station to Broad Street, an onboard ticket agent asked to see my ticket. Apparently, even though I purchased my ticket from an employee at the ticket counter, after carefully explaining that I needed to take the light rail to Broad Street, then on to my next destination, I was given a ticket to Broad Street by subway, and onward. So, the onboard ticket collector graciously decided to overlook this.

When the light rail (that runs on tracks on the street, like a subway car on trolley tracks) arrived at the Broad Station, I motioned to the guy on the light rail to go ahead of me, because I knew that he only had one minute to catch his train. Yet, when I walked off the light rail car, he was still standing out there. He asked me, “Do you know where you are going?” I said, “I have no idea.”

So, my guide, who I believe to be a godsend, courteously led me around to the side of the station, up a staircase to an elevated platform. He said that his own train was running late. He showed me how to know for sure when my train would arrive, and upon what track. He said your train is on track 3, as listed for 5:28 p.m. When I looked at the digital board for arrivals, my train was listed as Mount Olive (a biblical name for a sacred place near Jerusalem). I told my would-be guide that was not the name of the particular train line that I was taking. He explained that it was indeed the train for the route I needed to take. I would not have known this, unless so propitiously guided by someone who appeared at the right time in my hour of need. It was then that he told me that he worked for the transit authority. And he showed me his I.D card, attached to a lanyard around his neck, that I had not previously noticed.

When I explained to him that I hadn’t a clue of how to proceed back at Penn Station, when I was waiting on the staircase, until I heard him say that he’s going to Broad Street, he explained in the following manner: He was only talking into his phone, saying that he was going to Broad Street, so that the people he was hurriedly passing by wouldn’t get angry at him for butting in line. We both realized at this point how much of a coincidence this was. We even talked for a while until his train arrived. Baruch H’Shem (Praise G-d), for this truly was hasgacha peratis (divine guidance). Shalom.

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Give Thanks

Give thanks to His name,

despite everything that seems to be in disarray.

Proclaim His acts across the land,

and offer a helping hand,

to those in need.

Sing words of praise to Him,

even when things do not appear to be going well.

Play music in His honor,

and in the splendor of holiness,

worship Him.

Let your heart rejoice

in the provision of the L-RD,

for His grace abounds,

and the level of His mercy

cannot be found out.

Always search out the L-RD,

and seek His countenance,

a refuge in the storms of life,

a guide to all your challenges

along the way home.

based on 1 Chronicles 16:8-36

Hope in the Skies

Look up,

for the hour draws near.

There is hope in the skies,

beyond what is imagined,

by the fear in our hearts.

There is a lasting generation

of humanity that will survive

the death and decay of the earth,

before the arrival of its revival.

The truth will transcend science,

and reason outlast the media’s

implicit portrayal of doomsday,

on the brink of tomorrow.

I shall not seek Hollywood’s

fantastic predictions on the screen;

nor, fear the earth-changes,

while my faith is intact.

I will do my part to hasten

the renewal of the earth;

and prevent the suffocation of sea turtles,

by not accepting plastic bags at the store.

My conscience clean, I will rest in quietude

every night in expectation of a dawn,

that will succeed man’s best efforts

to create harmony within the biosphere,

as G-d enacts a rescue plan.

The Way of Hope

Take note of my story, for future generations dear reader. Take heart at the uplifting tale that I will bring to your ears. For over the years, my words will fade into oblivion, as the boots march onward into history, trampling upon all that came before the inversion of truth. Woe unto them that call darkness light, and light darkness; blessed are they who seek restoration.

I wandered lonely as a cloud, my footsteps tracing upon the earth, what would otherwise have been the shadow of the cloud following me overhead. Across the generations, my people have endured, beyond the pale of jurisdiction, what may seem impossible to endure. The Source of our strength sustains us, beyond what we are able to sustain on our own. Only by divine decree, have we continued to flourish across the centuries, despite the intentions of our enemies.

Hidden Remnant

The time draws near,

as opportunity knocks,

only until the door closes with a tear

for every soulful look.

Those who remain

in the basement of this shul,

will wait out the battle, constrained,

as the siege in the city fails to improve.

This congregation, now divided,

between Kharkov and Dnipro,

where several dozen from the kehillah have fled,

will survive with G-d’s berachah.

Blessings, descending from heaven,

more potent than bombs and missiles,

will sustain them until they can ascend

and mend the fissures in their lives.

Those who have already taken flight,

and reached the border’s protection,

hope to see their final destination in sight –

a foreshadowing of the final redemption.

Plight

Cauld Blaws the Wind Frae East to West, by Joseph Farquharson

There is no time to dawdle,

as the wind picks up speed.

Securing a place in line for ourselves,

once we get to the border is tantamount

to reserving a place for ourselves

in the ledgers of the Book of Life.

Little one, when you place

one foot in front of the other,

know, that each step along the way

will bring you closer to safety.

For, the past will not follow you

through the checkpoint into your future.

Your brothers and sisters,

aunts and uncles, all of your cousins,

and friends are also on this journey,

upon the long and winding road

to freedom from fear, harm, and hunger.

All that is required of you,

amidst the explosions and turmoil,

the deafening sounds inside of the cities,

and the rising tides of world war

is a steadfast faith in your plight,

knowing that G-d is watching

over you, until the end.