On Rosh HaShanah, the Yom HaDin, when we daven, the key is for us to ask Hashem to shower us with all that we need – not for our good, not for our comfort, but because we wish to be able to serve Him better. Hashem wants us to reach out to Him, but we must remember to beg and beseech Him so that we can be more complete ovdei Hashem, using our every day to serve and bring honor to His name. There will be no greater z’chus.

The following story occurred a number of years ago, and it demonstrates to what lengths a Jew will go to help his fellow Jew. In Jerusalem lived a man who became a master plumber and worked for himself. He was good – so good, in fact, that it wasn’t long before he developed a reputation as an expert in all matters related to plumbing. On numerous occasions, he was brought in to figure out how to expertly handle a delicate situation or to correct someone else’s mistake. He was creative and had “hands of gold,” and whatever he worked on, he managed to bring to a successful conclusion. He became prosperous.

One of the first and most successful kiruv organizations in the US is Hineni, founded by the dynamic Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis a”h in the 1970s. The organization was an instant success, and the Rebbetzin was asked to speak and engage with people at many events all over the world. She recalls one very special event that she was asked to speak at.

The famed B’nei Yisas’char, Rav Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov zt”l, used to say: “Why don’t we make a blessing before we give tz’dakah, the way we make blessings on everything else? Because, had we been commanded to make such a brachah, the poor person could have very well starved to death by the time we finished making our blessing! If the baal ha’bayis is a chasid, he would first have to go to the mikvah, then he would have to recite a lengthy l’sheim yichud. If he was a Litvak, he would undoubtedly learn up the sugya in order to do the mitzvah mehadrin min ha’mehadrin! By the time he got through all the preliminaries, the poor fellow would most probably have dropped dead!”

Sometimes, we are worthy. Sometimes, we see two random events and never know why they occurred. Other times, we witness two seemingly isolated incidents and watch how they intertwine and come together. We recognize that Hashem placed us in that spot, that office, that street, that city – all for a reason. It is then that we have a renewed appreciation of hashgachah pratis, and we marvel in awe and gratitude at how the Creator runs His world using us as his messengers.

A relatively recent phenomenon is the increase of Orthodox officers and soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces. This phenomenon extends through the ranks of the IDF, where increasing numbers of religious officers can now be found. Some come from religious backgrounds, while others find religious observance once they’ve enlisted in the Israeli army. One such soldier arrived from a totally secular home, from a remote kibbutz where organized religious observance was unheard of. In fact, it was ridiculed and looked upon as backward and not in line with modern day values. The young soldier joined the IDF and, once there, he saw the Yad Hashem in ways he had never previously known, and it made quite an impression on him. He began to study and learn and even found a chavrusa, a study partner, who could teach him about Torah and mitzvos. Indeed, from week to week, his appetite for Yiddishkeit grew and he found himself seeing Judaism in a new light.