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September 8, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 8, 2017
 

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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 By Jonathan Feldstein The story I am about to tell is real, happened to me, and I am glad to share both as a way to praise God for His mercy and grace, and to share a uniquely Israeli and Jewish perspective on a story that may not be so unique in general. It is in every way a Shabbat miracle for which I will forever be profoundly grateful. Shabbat, complete day of rest. The Torah lists 39 forms of work that were used to build the Tabernacle. Ob- servance Of Shabbat means a full avoidance of all these, and the modern derivations of these categories as time and technology unfold. It's not just that we refrain from "going to work," a concept that didn't exist in biblical times, but from all forms of work and creation. God rested after six days of creation, so we rest as well. It's not just alist of things we cannot do, but receiving the gift of the day of rest and not having to do them. I don't know that I could live without Shabbat. It's a and as I usually do. I sat read- But to play it safe, I scooped the towel and saw it was cov- day of literal rest, fellowship ing, quietly, with one kid out him up and put him in my bed ering a desk lamp. The towel withfamilyandfriends, Torah (16), and two others (22 and were my wife was, and shut was Smoldering, so I took it study, andprayer.Modernun- 12) asleep early. The three the door so as not to disturb and threw it in the bathtub. derstandingofthesemeansno other kids weren't home, so them. Miracle #2. I unplugged the charred but phones, no starting or extin- including my wife, who fell I kept looking throughout still working lamp. My expos- guishing a flame, no writing, asleep on the couch next to the house; in the electrical ing the towel to the air must no driving, no cooking, etc. me, there were just five of us. boxes and anywhere I could have brought on flames, so I But all the prohibitions of At some point when I was think of. My frustration grew turned on the shower extin- Shabbat get thrown out the sufficiently tired, I decided to at not being able to figure it guishing the flames. Thank window in the instance ofsav- gotobed.Mywifewokeupandout, so, albeit with no visual God. There was still smoke ingalife forwhich supersedes noticed the faint odor of what signs of smoke or fire, I called from the carpet andbookcase all Torah commandments, smelledlikeburntmarshmal- the fire department. In ad- that the lamp had been lying When the sun sets Friday, lows. She went right to bed dition to using the phone, I on, but these went out on my home and indeed our but I was awakened by the had to turn on a light to see their own. whole town becomes quiet odd notion that somebody that I was dialing the right A knock on the door was and serene. The loudest noise was roasting marshmallows, number. I told them I smelled followed by the doorbell. all Shabbat typically is the much less cooking anything, smoke but couldn't figure out Emergency services arrived Moslem call to prayer which in our neighborhood and so where it was coming from. I in waves. Firemen in full wehearfromacrossthevalley something was off. I went was told to wait by the phone uniform, medics included in Bethlehem, or kids racing outside to see if there was a and be near the door. I kept neighbors I knew. For them down the hill on scooters in fire or smoke from anywhere, up my hunt for the source of too, each left his home and the middle ofthestreetdevoid I checked all the floors and the burning marshmallows, the sanctity of Shabbat to of cars, sometimes so loud electric boxes in our house, Then, on the next trip participate in saving a life. All it's like there's an oncoming just in case. The smell was upstairs, I saw there was a were professional. All wanted train. Otherwise, it is peace- pronounced in a few par- lot of smoke on the second to see the source, check the ful and serene, and incredibly ticular spots and I was sure floor. My son's room (18) was house forsmoke, be sure there restful, it was coming in from an empty and had no smoke but was no other reason to think We have a lovely family open window. But I couldn't by then my daughter's (16) anything was burning, and dinner together, kids go off figure it out. room across the hall was full wake up my sleeping family their own way and one by I sattoreadsomemoreand of smoke. Miracle#3. I must (hard to believe they were one people start slipping off thenwenttocheckeverything have turned the light off so I sleeping through this all) to to sleep. Whether the sun again; up and down the stairs, turned it back on to find the be sure everyone was OK. sets at 5 p.m. or 9 p.m., I'm the basement, backyard, ev- strangest thing. Smoke was After the smoke cleared, typically asleep early. I am erywhere. I noticed that the billowing up from the floor literally, I learned that 16 tired from the previous week top floor of my house had al- in the corner of her room as was making up a bed for 12 and it's the only day I don't most no burnt marshmallow if being blown in artificially and bumped into the lamp, have work I must get to. This smell, nor did my bedroom, like at a concert. This made no which fell and went on. She week my youngest kids (16 leading me once more to be sense as, except for sheetrock thoughtfully covered it with and 12) were bickering a bit sure thatwith nothing noticed walls, most of our house is a towel so he could sleep. and by the time dinner was inside the electrical boxes, it steelreinforcedconcrete.How Had I fallen asleep early like over they were setting up for was coming from outside, could there be smoke much I usually do, he could have asleepoverinthe 16-year-old's It seemed like the smell less a fire coming from the suffered from smoke inhala- room. Maybe that wasn't a was stronger in my daugh- concrete floor? tion, or worse. That's the big miracle, but it wasnice to see ter's room (16) so turned on Then I saw it, less than a miracleinaseriesofmiracles, all the same. the light thinking maybe the yard fromwhere my son's (12) and while I was aware in each This past Friday night, the ceiling fan was burning. My head was 20 minutes earlier, case of my doing things that first miracle was that I didn't son (12) slept soundly. No smoke billowing from a blue fallasleepearlyasIhadhoped, smoke from the ceiling fan. towel on the floor. I picked up Miracle on page 15A Building: Community Since I954 bi Joshua N [y toria[ Meitin The l ates of SO ate, OUT dooTs. Wednesday, September 2 Erev Rosh Thursday, September 1st Day Rosh Tashlich* - 6:00t Mincha/Maariv* - Friday, SeF 2nd Day Rosh Friday, September 29 Kol Nidre - 6:45pm Saturday, September 30 Yore Kippur Day - 9:00am Mincha* - 5:00pm Community Memorial Service - 6:20pm* Neila* - 6:45pm Maadv* - 7:40pm (*open to entire community) High Holiday Tickets includes unlimited &':i members in :: i[~: .~ .[..::.:: ~'i- Israel a donation of $180. and Babysitting without reservation. 10:00am-12:30pm Your donation can be applied to your membership dues. 50 South Moss Road o Winter Springs, FL - 32708 407.647.3055 office@tiflorida.org www.tiflorida.org Online reservations: https://tiflorida.org/calendar/2017-high-holidays/