By Rabbi Simcha Moishe Kreindler, co-director of Chabad TORCH
We live in the small town of Mt. Shasta in California, from which my wife and I serve as Shluchim to rural areas in the state.
The population here is around 3,500 people, with the nearest Jewish community located 3 hours away in Sacramento, and the nearest mikvah is 70 miles away in Ashland, Oregon.
So you can imagine how astounded I was when I experienced the following story:
Getting into my car that morning, I noticed my left tire was flat. The town’s tire store was about 2 miles away, so I attempted to drive there very slowly.
When I called the tire store they told said to stop because it could ruin the tire. I pulled over to the side and tried putting in the spare tire myself.
It was around 8:00 AM and the streets were mostly empty. It seems like everyone was still waking up. I was reminded of what my wife often says that when we find ourselves in strange places or in strange situations, say some Tehillim or learn Tanya.
I started listening to a Tanya shiur on my phone and then, out of nowhere, a woman approaches my car. She offered to bring an air tire pump and when she came back, she started filling the tire with air.
“A physical favor for another person is a great thing,” I thanked her.
“Yes, a mitzvah,” she responded.
Wait, what? Are you Jewish?
Yes, she responded and told that 3 days ago a fire broke out and burned down her home. She drove several hours to Mt. Shasta to find a new home.
When she came to Mt. Shasta, she checked into a small lodge that is normally vacant, in front of which I was stuck that morning with a flat. When she saw me trying to fix the tire, she knew she can be of her.
What an hashgacha parotis and invited her to stay in touch with us for a future program or Shabbos meal. She welcomed that and gave me her contact her info. Her last name is Jaffee.
A Jaffee was one of the people involved with arranging my shidduch! What are the chances, especially in Mt. Shasta and especially at 8:00 am and especially between the High Holidays?
It was like the Rebbe was sending me a message the a Shliach is never alone, even when he feels stuck and the yehtzer hara may trick to think you are…
Needless to say, I arranged a time to visit the new home of Mt. Shasta’s newest Jewish resident (who is related to “all the Jaffee Jews in New York”) to bring a housewarming gift and of course, a mezuzah.
All ‘thanks’ to a fire and a flat tire…