911 From Above
By: Leah Brown
This is truly an amazing story and it shows how miracles happen everyday, we only have to be aware of the signs and open our eyes and hearts to them. Hashem is speaking with us, and he sends messages and messengers, only our job is to pay attention!!!
The story begins around two weeks before Pesach. My son’s first-grade Rebbe went out of town for a simcha and the substitute teacher did not speak English well. My son was hurt and he went over to the Rebbe and told him it feels really bad and he thinks he needs to go to the hospital. The Rebbe thought he was asking for a bandaid and told him o.k., so logically, my son went to the office and while the secretary was out, called 911 and told them his predicament. The police arrived to find a very confused teacher and a little boy showing off his black and blue mark from getting pushed.
Ever since that incident, I began to see and notice 911 every day. What do I mean by this? Well, in the beginning, it was mostly the time of day. For example I would look at the time exactly at 9:11 a.m. or 9:11 p.m. I by no means did this on purpose, nor did I wait for the clock to change. It was completely by chance (or not). Another example is I went to Sams Club and made a large purchase since I bought my bamboo floors there, and the total amount of my bill was $911.13! This continued to go on almost daily, to the point that it was really scaring me.
I packed up my kids and went to my sister in Minnesota for Pesach. I mentioned this strange phenomenon to her and she brushed it off, not wanting me to be nervous about it. She even joked with me that I was being paranoid. I told her I felt like an impending doom was chas veshalom awaiting. When we went shopping Erev Pesach, we passed a huge billboard sign which said 911 on it, and when I pointed it out to my sister, she said “ I pass that billboard every day”. But I responded “ I don’t”!
On the second day of Chol Hamoed my baby broke out in an anaphylaxis allergic reaction and we had to call 911 and rush him to the emergency room for epinephrine. After this ordeal, my sister said to me “there’s your 911, I bet you won’t see it any more”. But sure enough, the next morning, my father left me a voice mail on my cell phone and the time it came through was exactly at 9:11!
After Pesach, my parents asked my husband and I to wait to drive home until the morning since we had a freak snow storm that day and the roads were slick. My husband was eager to get to work the next morning, so we decided to drive at night anyway (This is a lesson to always listen to your parents, no matter how old you are)!
It is a three hour drive back to our home, and 1 1/2 hours into the trip, the highway ends, and the country roads begin. It was at this point that I hit a patch of black ice. I was going 40 miles an hour in a 55 mile zone (I probably should have been driving 30-35 in these conditions). I lost control of the car and the car began swerving back and forth across the two-lane road. I was screaming to my husband "what should I do"?!!! over and over again, andhe helped me keep the wheel as straight as I could, but I knew I had lost control and there was nothing I could do. All of a sudden, the car veered over to the other side of the road, and fell off a cliff. From the top of the drop I could not see the bottom, and I thought we were falling to our death, chas v'shalom. We were screaming at this point, and the kids woke up and began crying. The car seemed to go down forever, and it felt like that ride at the amusement park when you drop straight down and your stomach is in your throat, but all of a sudden the car stopped!!
We quickly checked to make sure the kids were o.k., and Baruch Hashem! they were all not hurt. One said he hit his chest against the others head, but it wasn's so hard. The kids all started talking at once and they were very scared. It looked like we were stuck in this canyon. My husband got out to check the car and the situation outside. We noticed that on the way down, we went through a barbwire fence and the wire was wrapped around our tires so there was nothing we could do (we tried to move the car and unwind the wire but my husband got his pants ripped and his leg cut so we quickly abandoned that idea)!
We basically sat in the car for a while and talked with the kids about what happened and how lucky we are to be alive. Every one said a bracha of thanks to Hashem in their own words. We waited for about a half hour and saw a light on the road above. It was hard to see the car, but we followed the headlights around the curve. It was a mile or two later when the light started slowing down. I started excitedly saying that the car will turn around, and sure enough it did! We later found out that he saw our lights shining through his rearview mirror and could tell we were in trouble. My husband had to climb up the hill (or mountain) and basically crawled up in the snow to get to the man. We couldn't get a signal on our cell phones so the man drove my husband far enough until he could call 911, and then, he drove back to us. During this time when my husband was away from us we davened the entire time and were very scared (of wild animals or crazy people finding us). When my husband came back there were two squad cars behind him. The officers came down to check on us and see that everyone was o.k. At this point, I got out of the car and began crying hysterically. I was so relieved that the police were there, and I knew that we were going to be alright!
After some thorough investigating of the scene (they looked at the skid marks in the road to make sure I wasn't speeding) and taking down my insurance and license information, (they had to contact the farmer to let him know about the fence and make sure there were no cows in the pasture), they told us that a tow truck was on it's way but it would be a while. The truck finally arrived and the police now had the job of getting us all up the hill to the squad cars while they unwrapped the car and schlepped it up. My husband and each of the police officers took a kid, and my oldest daughter and I trekked up the steep hill. It was hard, and we kept slipping and falling into the snow. We were soaking wet and I felt like I couldn't breathe when we got to the top. I actually had a bronchitis cough all night from the strain on my lungs. We all got into the police car and watched and waited. The kids were actually excited about being in the police car, but after a little while my daughter had a panic attack and began hyperventilating from chlostrophobia. We quickly got her out of the car and helped her through it. The tow truck only had 150 feet of chain so he had to go back into town to get more. He came back with 200 more feet and it just barely was enough! We had dropped over 350 feet down!!!
We watched excitedly while the tow truck gently and slowly pulled up the car. We were so happy that the car was running and we followed the police and tow truck back to his place to pay the bill, etc. We got the kids soda's, filled up on gas, and left home. We drove very slowly to say the least, and by 7:00 we got home! (we left at midnight). What should have been a 3-hour trip, turned into a 7-hour trip!!!
When we got home, my husband got out of the van to move out the car in the driveway so we could pull into the garage. While he was doing that, I sat in the car with the kids and was looking around. I noticed on the mileage gage that we had driven exactly 91.1 miles!! I began panicking, since I thought this accident was really the 911 and there wouldn’t be any more.
This all happened on Thursday and by Friday most of my family had known about the accident. I told them about the 911’s and asked everyone to take something upon themselves. My oldest sister reminded me of the hachlata we all made a couple of years ago to split up the entire Tehillim when my brother had been in a terrible car accident where he lost both his legs. In addition, my husband, myself, and all my children made individual hachlata’s and a united hachlata as a family. We also promised to have our mezuzos checked as soon as possible.
On Sunday, I had to drive halfway back to Minnesota to pick up my parents who had stayed over Shabbos by my sister. My sister drives them half-way, and I pick them up half-way. That morning my father asked me to bring milk to his house before I left. When I walked into the kitchen it was exactly 9:11 a.m. I was really scared and called my husband right away to tell him. He said he was going to take the mezuzos down today and we will send them into New York to be checked first thing tomorrow morning.
I left to pick up my parents and when I got to the place where the accident happened, I stopped and said the pasuk “baruch sheasah lee nes b'makom hazeh”, thanking Hashem for the miracle he performed for us. It was even more amazing seeing it in the light. It really was a steep drop, and I noticed a stream as well which I didn't even know was there!
On the way home, I noticed another 911 sign in a small town. I decided I would write into the Iggros and I found out that there was a local Rabbi who checked mezuzos in our town. I called him to ask if he could check our mezuzos and he said that if we brought over five mezuzos he could check them right away.
In the meantime I went to my father to write the letter to the Rebbe. I typed my letter on the computer and chose an Iggros from my father’s book shelf. I put in my letter and my father opened it. First he read my letter which basically asked the Rebbe for a bracha of gezunt and mazel, etc. I told the Rebbe the recent happenings and the 911 sightings and that they continue to appear. I told the Rebbe how we are increasing in Torah and Mitzvos (I mentioned all the kids and our hachlatas we just made, which include davening, brachos, negel vaaser, chitas, ahavas yisrael, kibbud av veaim, and learning). I asked the Rebbe to help!
Here is the amazing response:
The Rebbe was responding to a man who apparently was in Aveilus and was asking a number of questions regarding minhagim for the year. It was a two and a half page letter. The first paragraph talked about when to put up a matzeiva and discussed that the minhag in Eretz Yisrael is to do it at shloshim, but chootz laaretz, at a year, although the Rebbe said it was good also at shloshim in chootz laaretz.
Right away I thought of my father-in-law who is getitng very close to his first yahrtzeit. They will be putting up his matzeiva right after Shavuos!
The next paragraph was about saying Kadeish. It spoke of minhag chabad to say kadesh seventeen times a day. There are only fourteen kadeshes, so how is it possible? to say mishnayos after each tefilla of shacharis, mincha and maariv so that it adds another 3 (my father and I actually counted the kadeishim to be sure). It also mentioned the importance of davening for the Amid and getting an Aliyah on Monday, Thursday and Shabbos, especially by Maftir.
This blew my mind because my husband has been very good about saying kadeish all year but right before Pesach, and especially on Pesach he barely got in a kadeish since he works in a hotel as a chef for hundreds of people, and works non-stop! This is around the same time the 911 messages began.
The next paragraph was about learning. First it talked about learning mishnayos for the meis, by spelling out his name and doing a perek for each letter of his name. (My husband also was to finish the entire mishnayos by his father's yahrtzeit).
Then it spoke about learning Chassidus. This is where it got really spooky! The Rebbe said that learning chassidus actually takes away Tumah from the world. and Hashem removes the tears from a person's face. It also said that in the Zohar it talks about when death came into the world after the sin of Adam and Chava. Before this there was Eitz Hachayim, Life. and that in order to have life one must learn the penimius Hatorah which is compared to Eitz Hachayim! And that learning Chassidus turns around darkness into light and bitterness into sweetness. (My husband’s hachlata was to go back to learning his chitas every day!).
Then the Rebbe says "I noticed you didn't mention it in your letter but you should also put Tzedakah every day before davening Shacharis and Mincha because "tzedakah tatzil mimaves"! and the Rebbe ended by saying that even after death "harey Zeh Hatzolah!!!! it saves a person! The Rebbe actually used the word Hatzolah!!! (911)!!!!!
After my father read the letter, we looked to see what Chaylek and page it was on. It was in Chaylek Yud Zayin (17), the same gematriyah as the word "TOV" (good)! and it was on page Raish Ayin, only it didn't say Raish Ayin. They purposely turned the letters around to spell Ayin Raish, since Raish Ayin spells "RAH" (bad) so they turned around the letters to change it from bad to good. So not only did I choose a letter that was "good", I also chose a letter which turned the bad into good!!!!
As soon as I was done with the letter, I rushed over to the store to share it with my husband. As we were talking, the Rabbi called to tell my husband to come over with me to pick up the mezuzos. We brought the letter from the Iggros with us. The Rabbi said that Hatzolah also goes very close with Shmirah and what is Shmira? Mezuzos!! He then told us that two of our mezuzoz were bedieved o.k. but not lechatchila, and he ordered two new ones right away. Then he told us that one of our mezuzos was pasul! He said that it is worse to have a pasul mezuzah then to not have a mezuzah at all! We will be checking the rest of them over the next week, IY"H
Here is what I think about all of this!
It is getting very close to my husband’s father's Yahrtzeit, and I really feel like he is trying to get our attention. What better way than by sending 911 messages!?! I was scared because I was interpreting it as danger, when in reality it is a message saying "HELP!!!!" I really feel like his neshama needs help to get to where it needs to be and he used me as a conduit to get the message to my husband! (since women are more in tune to details than men). Even the accident is so clear now. What is the first thing my husband and I think about when there is a car accident? We think about my father-in law and his terrible car crash years ago with all the kids in the car when lo aleinu he lost two of his children. We did not have a scratch on us and the car wasn't even damaged too bad. It's not like he wanted us to get hurt, he was only trying to get our attention!!!
Also, my husband’s father was very makpid on teffilin and mezuzos. He always spent the most money on them and had them checked regularly. Perhaps he was sending us warnings to check our mezuzos because he knew they were pasul!
P.S. Since all this came to a head, it has been two days and I have not seen one 911. As a matter of fact, the first night I went to sleep and the clock said 1:19, which is 911 turned around. So I think it is all turned around and we got the very important, emergent message! My husband is being very makpid on going to minyan three times a day, and davening for the amid as much as possible, and our mezuzos are being checked and either fixed or replaced! Thank you Hashem for sending us the signs and allowing me to recognize them! (and thanks to my father-in law who is still looking after us, even in the after life)!
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