Why Didn’t She Answer Me?

November 14, 2013

                                                                                                                                                                          B”HI went to the hospital today to bring lunch for a family whose husband was in a serious biking accident. I asked a female orderly, clearly dressed in hospital uniform, for directions to his floor.
She was passing by as I called out, “Excuse me?”
But she didn’t even acknowledge me.
“Excuse me?” I called again. But she kept on walking.
I didn’t think much but what little I did think wasn’t particularly nice. Aren’t hospital personnel paid to be helpful?
I found my way to the family, delivered the food and what I hope were words of strength and encouragement–G-d willing, Hirsh Zalman ben Devorah will have a complete recovery–and I was on my way. Not sure how to get out–hospitals are notorious for street levels being on the fourth floor and I am notorious for being bad with directions–I figured the first floor was a good place to start.
As I got off, who was getting on the elevator?
It was only when I asked her how to get out and she pointed to her ear, signaling that she couldn’t hear me, did I realize who she was:
The same orderly who had ignored me a half hour earlier.
This is what is known as hashgacha pratis, Divine providence, the idea that everything that happens is by G-d’s design. I encounter her once, I encounter her twice and lucky me, I get to learn a lesson today through the experience: Be careful before judging others.
There’s always more to the story.


  1. Reply

    Chani Altein

    What a great reminder about a very important lesson. Thank you, Lieba, for the inspiration.

  2. Reply


    wow, this story gave me goosebumps!

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