Sunday, July 10, 2005

Cosmic Vibes

Last week, I plugged my laptop computer in, as usual, to recharge the dead battery. Several hours later I came back to it, pushed the power button, and nothing happened. Nada. Black screen. Nothing lighting up. No power anywhere. Over the next day or so, I kept trying, and finally had to admit that something was very wrong. The computer was not responding at all. I called Tech Support in the US, and they had me do various things to test the battery, and finally determined that the AC Adaptor/power supply is broken. Since I bought the computer only 4 months ago, they sent me a new power supply in the mail (well, they sent it to my sister in California, who then sent it to me).

Meanwhile, there were certain files I really needed to access. I posted an ad on a listserve for English-speakers in Jerusalem, asking if there was anyone out there with a Dell Inspiron who would allow me to borrow their power supply just long enough to recharge my computer so I could email certain files to myself. I got a few responses. Among those was a woman just a 10-minute walk from me, who said "I'm going away for Shabbat, but my aunt and cousin will be here. Call my aunt on Friday, and arrange to pick up the power supply. Then bring it back after Shabbat." This was very nice and trusting of her, I must say!

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, I hosted a small seudat hodaya (Thanksgiving meal), for a few of my old, close friends from the US (Beth and Simcha, Ari and Sarah Beth, Chava, Yael) at a wonderful Italian meat place called Ragu. It was in honor of the fact that I'm out of debt, and in particular the nice windfall that came out of nowhere and allowed me to pay off all my loans. I was saying during the meal that I can't think of anything I've done in the past to deserve such a gift, so I'm making the seudah -- and hopefully will do other good things in my life -- so as to retroactively have deserved that financial windfall.

We also talked about my gratitude that I have just hit (yesterday) the 2nd anniversary of my immigration to Israel, and thank God, my life is going great. I've paid off my loans, my work is going well, I live in a nice apartment, have good friends here, and just started level vav (the 6th and highest level) in a once-a-week Hebrew-language program. Not bad. Not bad at all!

Well, all that thanking-of-Hashem must have sent out some interesting vibes into the universe, because strange things started happening. First, a man I went on a date with a few days before (and whom I'd liked), called me during the meal -- exactly on the night he'd said he would call. Then, remember that "guy who called" like, two or three weeks ago? Well, after that he flaked out on me for weeks -- but suddenly called now, during the seudah. (Since then, he's been flaking out again, just FYI. I think I'll stick with the first guy, the one who always calls when he says he'll call.)

When I got home from the seudah, there was an email from a childhood friend I've been looking for, on and off, since around 2002. We hadn't been in touch for 22 years. That day she'd Googled herself and found my ad on "Almost Met Jew," and wrote me an update of her life. There was also a rather more unfortunate email waiting for me after the seudah, from a former roommate letting me know that she'd just gotten divorced. Very dramatic things . . .

On Friday, I went to collect the power supply. I trudged through the oppressive heat and climbed up to the fourth floor, where I was met by the aunt and the cousin, only to find out that the power supply for the Inspiron 1600 has a different plug than the Inspiron 1150. The power supply was useless to me. Ugh! Since I was so hot and miserable, the aunt and cousin offered me a seat and cold water, and we talked.

We talked for 45 minutes. They were oddly open to me about the problems in their lives. I told them some stories about similar problems I've had in the past. I was learning interesting things about human nature from talking to them, and felt that I had something to offer in terms of adding a different perspective. During the conversation, I also recommended the "Understanding Yourself and Others" class to the aunt, who lives in the US. She carefully wrote down the URL for the class' website. Soon thereafter, I realized that Shabbat was in about 20 minutes, and ran home again through the heat.

On my way into the apartment, I was thinking "you know, it's really a bummer that their power supply isn't compatible with my computer. But I guess if the aunt takes UYO and feels better about those things going on in her life, then I was meant to go there today. Maybe Hashem arranged for my power supply to break so that I would end up meeting this woman who is in Israel from America."

Given all the strange things that had been happening, I also thought "Wouldn't it be weird if, now that I've fulfilled that job of telling the aunt about UYO, my power supply was working again? That would be nifty and spooky!"

So I plugged in the power supply to an outlet and to my computer, lifted the computer lid, and hit the power button.

And the computer sprang to life.

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