Guest Author - Lisa Pinkus
Sometimes, we become so caught up in our lives, we fail to embrace the moments that bring us closer to purpose, meaning and, perhaps, even G-d. The world we live in is filled with busy schedules, competition and an overwhelming amount of tasks to complete. We do not allow ourselves time to pause, to feel gratitude or to appreciate that which is truly important.
Extraordinary moments – moments that cause us to stop in our tracks – occur on a daily basis. These are moments of profound coincidence. Moments that may make you believe in G-d if you do not already. Moments that touch us so deeply, we know there is something larger than ourselves at work.
Most of us do not have our eyes open wide enough to notice these everyday occurrences. But, reading just a few of the stories in the Miracle books written by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal will show you what you are missing.
These two women have been collecting stories of miracles for years – some of which they, themselves, experienced. Halberstam and Leventhal have published several books including Small Miracles, Small Miracles for Women, and Small Miracles of the Jewish Heart.
Small Miracles of the Jewish Heart is a book of experiences that will leave you clutching your heart, grabbing for tissue and calling your friends. In this particular “miracles” book, each of the stories has a connection to Judaism or a Jewish experience.
One of the stories is about a young brother and sister who are reunited after surviving the Holocaust. Years later, they are unknowingly adopted by their deceased mother’s sister. The fact that they were blood relatives was not discovered until the little girl came into her new home for the first time and noticed a picture of her grandmother on top of the piano – a picture of her adopted mother’s own mother.
Or how about Sam’s story? On September 11th, he was on his way to his office in the World Trade Center. He was usually quite punctual, but on this particular day, Sam had a late start. When he heard the news of the terrorist attack, he was still caught in traffic.
Later that day and back at home, Sam received a call from his travel agent who was so grateful his life had been spared. Sam was curious how she knew he had been late to his breakfast meeting. The travel agent had no idea what Sam was talking about. She was calling because he had been scheduled to fly out on the plane from Newark to San Francisco – the plane that had been hijacked by terrorists and flown into the North Tower - the flight that Sam had canceled late in the afternoon on September 10th.
It is nearly impossible to retell the stories from Small Miracles of the Jewish Heart in a simple paragraph, but – hopefully – you are able to grasp the powerful experience that will occur when you read this book. This book is a book you will find difficult to put down at night. This is a book that will inspire you to open your eyes to the everyday miracles occurring all around us.
I purchased several of this series of books after hearing one of the authors speak at a conference.