I’ve often heard stories of miraculous happenings that occur when people are rushing to make it home in time for Shabbos or similar holiday stories. I did expect that this Rosh Hashanah, we’d have one of our own to share.
Our home was being painted the two days before Rosh Hashanah and Mr. Safek was happy thinking it would be finished by the time we packed up the RV and headed to the Synagogue for services. Unfortunately, the painting ran long. He set up the RV and then took our truck back to the house, promising he’d be back by candle lighting, hoping the crew would finish before he had to leave.
Unfortunately, they did not and he was faced with a difficult choice…break the Yom Tov or leave our home unlocked, the back door open, for the entire 3 day Yom Tov, during which we’d be miles away, with no way to check on our home and no access to a phone.
He agonized, but as there was no more time left, he made his choice and joined us in time for candle lighting, leaving our home unsecured.
Soon we were all swept up in Rosh Hashanah services and it was rare our minds had time to drift back to our home. We knew that theft has really become a problem in our area and there was a good chance that someone would come and take our things. As I lay down that first night, trying to find sleep, I thought of what we had that would probably be taken if someone took advantage of the situation. In my mind, there was little that couldn’t be replaced. I worried about pictures on my laptop that I wasn’t sure I’d backed up. I worried about the kids’ musical instruments and wondered how hard it would be to quickly replace them. Beyond that? I realized that pretty much everything important in my life was already with us…or had very little value to thieves. Our books would hold little appeal to them and I don’t have any fancy jewelry. What nice Judaica we have was with us. Most importantly, though, my family was safe and sound with me.
I let go and left it in Hashem’s hands. Either our things would be there when we returned or if they were missing, it would be for the best, perhaps to make it easier to pack later?
Amazingly, I didn’t think much further about it, not even enough to remember praying for the safety of our home during my davening, although I prayed for so many other things…it simply did not feel important enough.
The days went by and finally, havdalah came and it was time to pack up and come home. It was disorienting driving after so many days spent in prayer and study, as if this was some kind of dream world after we’d lived in the real world for the holiday. I remembered our home and began to worry, not so much that it had been broken into, but about how the kids might take it. We returned home and I decided not to say anything to them as we carried our pillows and blankets inside. Mr. Safek was still getting the RV ready to come home.
I walked inside and saw the back door was indeed open and my heart began to sink, but as I looked around…I saw everything was in its place. Nothing had been touched! I went from room to room and there was my daughter’s bass, my son’s viola, my laptop with the family pictures stored within it…it was all there just as we had left it!
I thanked Hashem and considered that perhaps He had watched over our home with extra care, realizing the sacrifice we had willingly made. Our home was spared and even Iggy the cat did not leave through the open door.
And, due to the rain, the paint still isn’t done.