From the COLlive inbox:
Leizer (a pseudonym) is currently studying at the Yeshivah Gedolah of Melbourne. At a Farbrengen during a recent Shabbaton, he recounted his extraordinary experiences in which the Hashgocha Protis (Divine Providence) was clearly evident:
It was around Pesach 5771 (April 2011) that I made a decision to attend the Rabbinical College of Australia & New Zealand. I had never been in a post high school Yeshivah before, and it was something I very much wanted to do. I have two close friends who were attending the Rabbinical College at the time, and they recommended it to me.
I got my passport and papers in order, and started working on the next hurdle – the tuition fees. I spoke to a number of family members and acquaintances, who each agreed to shoulder a little bit of the cost. I went off to American summer camp, convinced that all was arranged.
When I arrived back from camp, an unpleasant surprise was awaiting me.
The group of people who had undertaken to help me were no longer able to do so. I decided to work for the next couple of weeks, in order to put some money together.
In the beginning of October 2011, I found a job as a part time Mashgiach in a busy New York kosher restaurant, and I put in as many hours as they would give me. In my spare time, I made sure to learn for at least several hours a day with a variety of Chavrusos (study partners).
After a couple of weeks, it became very clear to me that I was not earning anywhere near enough money to pay for Yeshivah. One day, there was an unexpected ray of light. An envelope came in the mail, and it contained a cheque in my name for several thousand dollars. It did not say who had sent it, but I assumed that it was someone who was anonymously trying to help me pay for Yeshivah. I took this as a sign from Above to renew my efforts to attend Yeshivah.
However, I was in for a big disappointment.
Several days later, I was notified that the check bounced, and my account balance became negative due to the bank fees, which triggered the bank to close my account. In addition, I was notified around that time that the restaurant in which I worked would be closing down at the beginning of December 2011.
I was now without a bank account, and soon to be without a job. Being so distant from my goal, I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be attending Yeshivah next year. In late November 2011, I applied to Touro College, for the semester beginning February 2012.
Several days later, at around 1:30pm one Sunday afternoon, I was casually walking down Eastern Parkway. As I passed 770, I impulsively decided to go in to daven Mincha, even though I normally daven Mincha later in the afternoon. As I awaited a Minyan, I met one of my mentors who I hadn’t seen in about five months. My mentor currently lives in California, and he had come to New York just for that one day, in order to attend a wedding. As we got to talking, I filled my mentor in about my predicament, and he told me that he would do what he could do.
I came away from the conversation uplifted, even though I did not see how he could possibly help me. I didn’t hear from him for several days, but then he called me with the most surprising news. He told me that he had met someone who undertook to pay the entire tuition, and he gave me his contact details. A couple of days later I was on a plane headed for Melbourne.
On that fateful Sunday, after our conversation, my mentor headed to the Rebbe’s Ohel. As he was davening at the Ohel, my mentor announced – somewhat unconventionally – in a very loud voice, “I know a bochur who wants to go to Yeshivah in Melbourne but cannot afford it. If there is anyone here who would like to help, it would be a great Mitzvah.”
Many people heard the announcement, and it touched one person in particular.
Due to the great size of the crowd, he couldn’t pinpoint where exactly the announcement had come from. However, he was so taken by the request and felt such a responsibility that he began asking around who had made the announcement.
After close to an hour of asking, he finally noticed my mentor, who was in the corner saying Tehillim. The man approached my mentor and asked if he was the one who had made the announcement.
When my mentor responded in the affirmative, the man told him that he was willing to pay the tuition in its entirety.
The man went on to explain that he lives in Melbourne, and that he was visiting the USA to accompany his 16-year-old son as he participated in a series of tennis tournaments. He was in New York just for the day, and a rabbi whom he knew encouraged him to visit the Ohel.
At the Ohel, whilst he was davening for the success and health of his son, he heard the announcement involving the Yeshivah in Melbourne. Since he himself came from Melbourne, he felt a special responsibility to help.
The Melbournite paid my tuition in full, and took me under his wing when I arrived in Melbourne. Every day, I marvel at the Hashgocha Protis, and am so thankful to Hashem, the Rebbe, my mentor, and my sponsor who humbly maintains that he is “only the conduit” for the Rebbe’s Brocho (blessing).
I try hard to make the miracle worthwhile by learning well, and doing my part to reveal more G-dliness in this world.