As I said on Friday my son was in Tsfat for shabbat. He called me a little before shabbat to ask me if I would do him a favor and cancel all his credit cards for him. "What happened?!" I gasped. He proceeded to tell me that his wallet had been stolen from the Holy Ari's mikveh. I could not believe it. I got the bank phone numbers for him and told him he should try to call before shabbat and then call me back. I waited and then I decided to call him on his cell phone. Someone else picked up and I thought it was one of his friends. He spoke in Hebrew. I asked where was my son and he told me he was in the beit ha knesset. I asked if he was a friend of Yaaqov's and he said something that I did not understand. He then told me he would speak with Yaaqov and tell him I called. OK, fine, shabbat shalom. A few minutes later, my son called back to tell me everything was cancelled and I told him how I had just tried to call him on his cell phone and that I thought he was in shul. That is when he told me they had also stolen his cellphone and his pants. You can only imagine my shock and how freaked I was. I had just had a conversation with the thief! Then the whole story unfolded as he explained how they had stolen his pants and everything in them from the mikveh. A nice man gave him a long coat to walk out of the mikveh. My son also did not have a kippah so as he was walking through Tsfat wrapped in a coat, another very nice man, a Chabadnik, came along and asked him if he realized he lost his kippah.(I can only imagine he was trying not to embarrass my son any more than I am sure he already was.) My son told him the whole story and was helped further by him.
As my son is relating all this to me I am beginning to think all kinds of evil, vengeful thoughts. I share some of this with my son and he says, "No Mommy. Hashem should forgive him of his sins and let him live a long and happy life." I couldn't believe it. I felt ashamed of myself, thinking of this tzaddik of a son I merited to give birth to.
I really thought hard about it and so I decided to ask Hashem to forgive the thief and that this should be a kappara for my son. I thanked Hashem that my son was safe and for being the tzaddik that he is.
When I called his host family today they told me that my son did not let any of it get him down and he just had an amazing shabbat. I thanked Hashem again, telling Him how much I loved Him for His kindness to me and my family. My son called today and baruch Hashem he is safely back in Yerushalayim. He is well and Hashem is taking care of him.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, I have been doing a lot of praying and soul searching. I realized how I had let the guard fall asleep at the gate. That I was not praying and that I need to pray more often and consistently. I also need to relearn over and over the lesson that everything, mamash, EVERYTHING Hashem does is for our good. That He loves us and only wants what is best for us.
Because of this, I put my all into shabbat this week as sadness was trying to make itself very comfortable in my heart. I bought extra food and special fruits and treats in honor of Shabbat, Tu b'shvat and our guests that were joining us. I have the custom to light candles in the merit of Tzadikkim, so along with my candle I light for Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, I also lit a candle in the merit of the Holy Ari zal of Tsfat. I am pleased to tell you we had a lovely and peaceful shabbat.
I have to also tell you the yetzer hara did take this opportunity to try and scare me into not wanting to move to Israel and especially to Tsfat. "You REALLY STILL want to go THERE?! Are you kidding? It is not safe! You see what happened? etc...yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah." After a few seconds of dumbfounded silence I finally regained my composure after the pummeling I received and responded emphatically, YES!
YES, I STILL WANT TO GO AND NOW, MORE THAN EVER!
I have a question. Or three.
9 months ago