Right Place, Right Time // A confluence of seemingly random events reveals the hand of Hashem

By Esther Weisshaus

Hackney, the area in which we live, is the second-poorest borough in London and boasts the highest crime rate in the capital. Why the chareidi Jews of Stamford Hill chose to settle in Hackney is anybody’s guess.

Incidentally, the rapid expansion of our kehillah means that the small enclave we call home is pretty decent, and we do feel safe around here. But—and I’m almost certain I’m speaking on behalf of my community—venturing out of the area, especially on foot at night, well, that’s not so safe. Tall council blocks filled with drug dealers dot the vicinity, and homeless people crouch in darkened doorways. Corner pubs are overflowing with people enjoying a pint or two, and the cheering and loud ruckus make it feel like you’re in a bustling metropolis regardless of the hour.

It was a Sunday, and like most Sundays, it began on a lazy note. My son was dragged out of bed to catch his school bus, and the girls lounged around in their pajamas until I was successful in recruiting them for showers. After breakfast and some off-note davening, I took them on a pre-Yom Tov shopping trip. They desperately needed tights and hair accessories, and since I was a working mother, Sunday was the only day I could go. With my four daughters trailing after me, I looked and felt like a mother duck.

Returning home overheated and tired, we were met by a most disturbing sight. The floor in the hallway was splattered with blood, and as we followed the trail into the kitchen the splatters got bigger, eventually merging into a puddle near the sink. Bloody tissues were everywhere, and seated at the kitchen table, as if nothing had happened, sat my husband, smiling broadly.

“What on earth?” I asked, secretly more concerned about my dirty kitchen and floor than my husband, who appeared to have recovered from his injury.

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