Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Book of Nissim

The Other Guy
Last night, I was introduced to the idea of composing my own Book of Nissim.  This is a small journal in which one writes a small miracle that happened during that day. Just one a day.  Then, over time, you can read over what you wrote and see how Gd is taking care of you, day by day.

So I started thinking, and it wasn't hard, because yesterday, I really did experience a miracle.

We were driving on a crowded street in Jerusalem, on our way to lunch.  Pitom (Hebrew for "suddenly"), we got slammed in the back by another car.  Stuff went flying in our car.  My husband's kippa flew off his head.  We stepped out of the car hesitatingly to examine the damage.  The front end of the car behind us was smashed in.  Fluids were leaking out of the engine.  The damage was considerable.

And to our car?  Klum!  Shum davar!  Nada!  Our car is old, so one little scratch might not be immediately obvious, but really, it was miraculous.  The other car was in bad shape.  Our car was no worse for the wear.  Clearly, Hashem was with us.

Chasdei Hashem, we were spared from all physical injury, save a little ache from the force of the impact.  Our car was spared from all observable damage.  We were spared the hassle of having to deal with insurance companies and car repair shops.  We just took the other driver's info, which we probably don't need, and drove off to eat what had been elevated from an ordinary lunch to a seudat hoda'ah, a meal of thanksgiving.

Would it continue?  Could I find a miracle a second day?

Here's my story for today...

At the end of last month, I got a courtesy call from Cellcom, our cellphone company here, to tell me that one of the numbers on our family plan ran up a bill of over 3600 shekel (about $1K).  In one month.

Here's a budgeting tip - not all Internet packages in Israel are unlimited.  Take that tip seriously.

The Cellcom customer service person told me that someone would call me back to discuss options. After my heart stopped racing, I thanked him for his call and waited for the phone to ring again.  This was a Friday morning.

Shabbat came and it was Sunday morning before I got the follow-up call.  A small miracle is that the call came during my break from Ulpan when I was available to answer.  I spoke to the second customer service representative and we worked out a payment plan that was to our benefit.

Two weeks later, I got the bill, and it was for the full amount.  My husband suggested seeing it as the price we have to pay for living here.  Some people have difficult experiences during their initial time in Israel.  I've heard horror stories.  Legal problems.  Financial problems.  Family problems.  Criminal problems.  There's no end to the difficulties some olim have, most of which we, so far, have been spared.  So my husband suggested we write it off as a relatively painless way of paying our "klita debt".

But I knew I had spoken to someone at Cellcom and worked out a more favorable deal, so I was already thinking of contacting Voleh, an organization of lawyers who help immigrant English speakers with legal entanglements.

Today, I called Cellcom to try to find out why the customer service rep told me one thing and the bill said something else entirely.

The woman I spoke to at first did not speak English, but as best as I could understand her, she said someone would call me back within 3 hours.  So I sat to have lunch.  I had put my cellphone on vibrate in Ulpan and forgot to switch it off, but thank Gd, it was near me when I got the return call just 30 minutes later.

Miraculously, this customer service representative understood the problem and told me that the solution had crossed with the bill, and that I was not, in fact, being charged that gigantic amount this month.

My Book of Nissim is only two days old and already a source of joy.


Hashem is close to all who call upon Him - to all who call upon Him sincerely. (from Ashrei)

3 comments:

CN said...

Great idea, with this book.

Forme, getting up every morning (alive/healthy/without pain) and getting the gift of another day is a miracle for itself already.--

rutimizrachi said...

Wow!!! Now I have yet another reason to be grateful today: two of my favorite people are still in the world, with their car and their bodies intact. "Thank Hashem for He is good. His loving-kindness is forever."

Trying to Fix the World said...

Wow, that exact same thing happened to me about 3 week's before I made Aliyah.
I was on the Beltway in Baltimore in stop-an-go traffic. The woman behind me hadn't realized I'd stopped, bashed onto the back of my car, and turned to car so I was perpendicular with the road.
We both hobbled to the side of the road, I saw in my rearview mirror that the front of her car was bashed in and leaking fluid.
I got out to inspect the damage on my car and her SUV had created a tiny dent in my tiny Saturn's bumper. I was able to drive away under my own power and she had to wait for a tow truck.