Every year on Rosh Hashanah I try to think of which new mitzvah practice I can deepen for that upcoming year. For those of you who have participated in our “Mitzvah Challenge,” you know it’s not so simple to come up with the right thing. It can’t be too hard, or it won’t stick. It can’t be too easy, or there’s no point. It can’t be too complex, too abstract, or have no measurables, or you won’t ever know if you’re succeeding. But every now and then God “dropboxes” just the right idea into my head.
I had been feeling kind of bad that I’m not the kind of person (like my mother-in-law, for instance) who makes people potato kugel each week and sends out all kinds of delectable homemade food packages. I’m just not not that kind of gal, and it’s useless to pretend I am. But I did wonder if these unpleasant feelings of guilt were sending me a call to action.
Maybe the message wasn’t necessarily to become the Potato Kugel Girl, but maybe I could deepen my practice of chesed, acts of kindness, in a different way. So I thought about what this way could be, and I hit on what I thought was a great choice: phone calls.
With today’s social media, texting, and WhatsApp, a personal phone call is becoming a rare and lovely touch. And so I decided that I was going to become the Phone Call Girl. That means that when I noticed that someone I knew was going through something challenging or sounded overwhelmed, either through the grapevine, on text, or via social media, I would either pick up the phone that moment and call them, or set myself a reminder to call them soon, just to touch base, hear their actual voice, and see how they were doing. The goal was to make people feel more seen, heard, and comforted.
So when my friend Hudy confided on a group text that she was feeling overwhelmed by her recent move from Dallas to NY, you know what happened next. That’s right. I called her.
We had a lovely call, and I told her she sounded stressed and that I just wanted to hear how she was coping. We chatted about moving and about our daughters who were both on the dating scene. One thing led to the next and before I knew it we were talking about Hudy’s cousin. Who was male. And available. And apparently, whom she thought might be a great match for my very own daughter Hindy.
About a month later, Hudy introduced Hindy to her cousin AY. And the rest, as they say, is history. A couple weeks ago, we celebrated their engagement!
What can I tell you, friends? God is pretty amazing. But I can’t help but be amazed when I think back and connect the dots. God saw me trying to be a better person in advance of the High Holidays, and as a direct result of this effort, my daughter was introduced to her soulmate! Coincidence? I think not! This is what we call HP (Higher Power/hashgacha pratit/divine providence). We do what’s right… and God does what’s left.