By Naomi Kamigirov, Shuvu Beit Shemesh-Rishon L’tzion
My guests knocked just as I was finishing to set my Shabbat table. With the Challah tray still in my hands, I went to welcome them inside. As I opened the front door, I am not sure which one of us was more surprised! I was asked to host a couple from Yerushalayim who had wanted to stay in our neighborhood for Shabbat so they can be within walking distance to the husband’s mother who was in the nursing home. I was not told anything about them in advance, so you can imagine my shock at seeing my former Shuvu Rishon L’tzion principal, Mrs. Devorah Sofer, and her husband standing there.
The most ironic part, though, was that the Challah tray I was holding, was the wedding gift that the Sofers had given us. Each week, as I removed it from the breakfront and position it gently in its spot on the table, I would think to myself that I owe Mrs. Sofer a call. I felt that I should thank her for the gift of Yiddishkeit that she introduced me to as well as the warm and loving school environment that she treated me to.
I had gone to a Chiloni school, Levi Eshkol, through fifth grade and I abhorred every single day there. Luckily, through Hashem’s kindness, we moved to Beit Shemesh and my parents were introduced to Shuvu. I continued in Shuvu through 12th grade. It took a long while for my parents to come around in assisting me in keeping Mitzvot. For example, at the beginning, my mother would cook on Shabbat and insist that I eat the food. After a few years, my parents bought a hot plate and would let me keep prepared food on there over Shabbat.
My hairdresser was a religious woman. At three of my appointments I met the same girl there! Each time, she insisted that I was meant for her brother, Emanuel. After the third time, I could not deny the Hashgacha Pratit and agreed to meet him. To make a long story short, we live in Maale Adumin where Emanuel works in kiruv. Our Ayala is two and Michael is a 6 months old. It is so clear that every step we take, every hairdresser appointment, and every person we meet, is all set up by Hashem. And our surprise Shabbat guests were arranged by Him too!