This past month-plus has been nothing short of crazy and miraculous for me. Anybody who doesn’t see the Yad Hashem here has to be either blind or stupid.
I wish to start with November 4th. An Internet Marketing company that, for sixteen months, I performed web/database programming for, was forced to downsize, had downsized considerably during my last few months there and was therefore forced to let me go. This dealt me a huge blow since I had enjoyed not only the work I was doing, but I had enjoyed communicating with my co-workers on both a professional and personal level. But at that point in time, I had almost no savings in my bank account, and until unemployment would kick in, with the little severance pay I would be getting, I would basically be “on my own” until further notice.
Keeping my chin up, my Aishes Chayil of a wife and I looked for jobs online that would fit my skill set. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. Applying to various companies, two companies were interested in interviewing me. One was actually a company that my old company did business with, with regards to a shared client. The other was actually a known competitor to my previous company. After acing the required technical exams from both companies with flying colours, I chose the one that my old company did business with since it allowed me to work from home on a committed contract basis, which I considered very important in that taking off for Shabbos and Yom Tov wouldn’t be an issue. I therefore initially rejected the second company’s offer to move on with the “next steps” in that in addition to being forced to go to a remote location at set days/times, my initial impression was that they weren’t in any hurry to hire.
I soon found out that I had made a huge mistake in thinking so. I soon realized that working from home is very hard in that there are a TON of distractions, the contracting business can have some weeks going on without work and therefore no pay, and there are no benefits. After one week of work and one week of no work, on Friday, December 4th, Erev Shabbos Parshas Vayishlach, it was mutually agreed on to move in separate directions. Like “Vayishlach,” I found myself “being sent” to once again find full-time employment, especially in light that contract work wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
After consulting with family members in what to do, I reached out to the company that I initially rejected to see if their previous offer was still “on the table.” After it was confirmed that it was, we agreed to speak by phone on Monday, December 7th, meet in person to sign acceptance papers the following day, and that I would begin work on the following Monday, December 14th.
Coincidentally (or not), on Sunday, December 6th, I had found that my Savta (grandmother (my mother’s mother)) in Israel was seriously ill and in the hospital. Speaking with my father last Monday, he offered to send me, alone without my wife and daughter, on a “mission trip” to Israel for 5 days, fully paid for. The intended flight flight was to depart Tuesday, December 8th, in the afternoon only a few hours after I was to sign my acceptance papers for a new job I was to start the following Monday, and return Sunday “morning,” right after Motzai Shabbos and that “morning” was 12:50 AM. Realizing the gravity of the situation my Savta was in I agreed to make the trip. It so happened that, even in booking the flight less than 24 hours in advance, the flight between the Tuesday and Sunday turned out to be the cheapest of the whole week. In no time I was in the air.
Coming with gifts that I, my wife, and daughter hand-prepared (a hand-made get-well card, a family album of our sweet daughter, and DVDs of that same sweetheart of a daughter), my Savta, stationed in Tel-Hashomer hospital (a third-rate hospital), was reportedly in the best morale she had ever been since being sent to there, actually smiling and being cheerful.
I think that everything worked out for the best. Had I accepted the job I plan to IY”H start working tomorrow in the first place, I may not have had the few days slack-time to make a much-needed visit to my grandmother. As it turned out, the cheapest dates to fly just so happened to fall out on the exact dates and times between my accepting a new job and starting the new job, jetlag be darned. Also, while in Israel I actually picked up some pretty funny yet valuable advice on how to stay relevant yet desirable at work. I was even able to visit the Kotel and place a couple of Kvittelach, one specifically asking to help both my grandparents, who are both in poor health, receive a refuah shleimah.
That very Shabbos/Chanuka, I found myself in Israel on Parshas Vayeshev. The first Pasuk says “(Vayeshev) And Yaakov sat in his father’s dwelling place, in the land of Canaan.” I, like Yaakov, found myself sitting in that same land, albeit for a short time, in the very land Yaakov sat in 3,500 years ago, on the week that Vayeshev fell out on. Gd willing, in the spirit of Chanuka, where there were open miracles, will my grandparents receive a miraculous Refuah Shlaimah.
As it also turns out, my mother, a talented artist who lives in Israel and is now unemployed due to the terrible job market, is now able to visit her mother and father more frequently as a result.
After all this, B”H I even now have time to complete a final exam and paper for one of my graduate courses.
Again, those who don’t see the apparent miracles here have got to be either blind or dumb.