It was Friday night, the first night of Pesach, and Mummy was feeding two-year-old Mushkale some dinner. Mummy had worked very hard cooking and cleaning and was relieved that Pesach had finally come. She had even made three massive trays of the family’s favorite dish, apricot chicken!
Seven-year-old Bracha was playing a new game with her siblings, eleven-year-old Rivky, and five-year-old Sholom. Meanwhile, Mendi, the oldest boy at age nine, was getting his shoes so he could go with Tatty to shul. The first two nights of Pesach are the only times Hallel is sung at night, and Mendi was in the shul choir. He felt so grown up and excited.
“I hope he doesn’t get himself into any trouble!” Bracha said to Rivky, as Mendi made a dash to the shoe cupboard. Rivky giggled quietly. Mendi was famous for his outrageous pranks. When Mendi opened the shoe cupboard his shoes weren’t there!
“Where are my shoes??!!” Mendi cried. He was upset. Perhaps Bracha was trying to get back at him for the prank he had pulled on her that morning. Mendi had woken her up and hurried her to get ready for school even though he knew it was school holidays. Bracha was mad and flabbergasted when she realized what Mendi had done, but she couldn’t help but laugh at how Mendi had done it again.
Bracha tried to defend herself and proclaim her innocence.”If you are sooooo innocent, find me my shoes!!” said Mendi smartly. This was followed by a groan, but Mendi won. Bracha scampered off to his bedroom, but to no avail.
Tatty was almost ready to leave, “Where do you think your shoes are? In the freezer?!” he joked. Mendi faked a laugh, but well meaning little Sholom took Tatty’s comment seriously. He ran over to the overstuffed freezer that held everything Mummy had cooked for Pesach and opened the door.
Crash! The chicken fell. Sholom watched in horror as all of Mummy’s famous apricot chicken tumbled out of the freezer and onto the floor.
“iken!” cried little Mushkale in delight.
“Oh! No!” cried Mummy in horror, ”All my hard work, into the rubbish!
Rivky tried to comfort her mother; “Don’t be upset Mummy. I was just learning how Hashem makes everything happen for a reason. The Baal Shem Tov teaches us that nothing happens by mistake. Everything is Hashgacha Pratis which means that Hashem is involved in every detail of our lives. We may not understand it but it is all part of Hashem’s grand plan.”
“Yes Rivky, you are right. I am sure there is a greater reason why the chicken fell.” With that they went about cleaning up the kitchen.
Meanwhile, as Tatty was putting on his shoes, he praised Mendi for polishing them so nicely for Yom Tov. ”Oh! Thats where my shoes are!” Mendi blurted out, “I left them to dry outside!” He dashed out the back door and was back wearing shiny black Shabbos shoes just as Tatty left the house.
That night, at the Seder, Mummy complimented Savta on the delicious apricot compote that she had brought over.
“How did you make this delicious compote?” Mummy asked her.
“Oh,” answered Savta “It was such a breeze! I just dumped a few cans of Feyglbloom’s Kosher lePesach tinned apricots into a pot, added cinnamon and sugar and let it cook. Although it is a shame the Stein brand of apricots isn’t kosher lePesach.”
“Oy vey!” Mummy cried “I didn’t know that! I used Stein’s apricots for my chicken! Baruch Hashem all the chicken fell on the floor!” she said in relief, “As Rivky wisely said, indeed whatever happens is Hashgacha Pratis, which means that everything happens for a good reason because Hashem is in charge of the world!”