What good, might one ask, can come from a hurricane?
Brina (25) from Skokie, IL & Elazar
Match #: 375 & 376
I just finished my teaching certification in Spanish at the University of Iowa . During that time, I became frum through the Chabad shluchim at my school . Upon returning home to Chicago , my parents expected me to land a full-time teaching position, but HaShem had other plans for me . Right after I got home, my parents moved to their current residence in Skokie , and also at this time, a friend told me about JWed .
I thought, why not, there are not many Lubavitcher baalei teshuvah here who meet my specifications . Within one week of moving to Skokie , I logged onto JWed for the first time, and things started moving very quickly .
Elazar All the shadchanim in New York , New Jersey , and Florida had my name . I traveled all around the continental USA looking for the other half of my neshamah . After gaining so many sky miles, I started looking for new alternatives to meet people . I became a member of JWed, but, unfortunately, the sky miles kept accumulating . And after getting fed up with the entire shidduchim spectrum, I canceled my membership and decided to take a break .
A couple of months later, still in July, I decided to give myself another opportunity and prepared my profile to post it until after the High Holidays . But this time I had a serious talk with HaShem, so I tried my new profile for one weekend only .
It was the Thursday before Tisha B'Av . I posted my profile first thing in the morning, and less than half an hour later, I already had a response .
I had been on JWed for two weeks and none of the profiles were what I was looking for . Then I saw this new profile for a guy who spoke Spanish and lived in Orlando , FL . I really thought at this time, this is the person who I am going to marry, so I sent a detailed message, and YES!!!, he was the one!
When I received Brina's first message and looked at her profile, I realized she possessed all of the qualities that I had been searching for in a girl . I replied right away, and waited to see what would happen . Amazingly, we started writing long letters to each other right away, and by Friday afternoon, we had wished ‘Gut Shabbos' to each other eight times . That Shabbos was full of daydreams .
I felt guilty on Tisha B'Av because I felt so happy . The next day Elazar and I talked on the phone for the first time . The next day, we also talked, for four hours . Everyday we talked for hours and hours and even had to change our cell phone plans . I asked him when he was coming to meet me, and he said in a month . I said, I can't wait that long, can I come to meet you first? We agreed, and less than two weeks later, my father and I were on a plane to ‘sunny' Florida.
When she first told me that she was coming in less than two weeks, I got excited…Until I got to know that that was the day when Hurricane Charlie was expected. We didn't know if we should cancel our meeting, but we left everything in HaShem's hands .
I went to pick her up at the airport; I didn't go to work that day because everything in Central Florida was shut down due to Charlie's imminent arrival . Brina got the last flight into Orlando before the airport made the decision to close for the day . We met at the airport and we were heading to the hotel where she and her father were staying . We were caught in traffic when all of a sudden the heavens opened and the first squalls of Charlie came . I was smiling at her but my heart was beating out of fear . My small car was being shaken by the strong winds, and we could not see anything because of the heavy rains .
For five minutes we couldn't even move . But B'H we arrived at the Chabad Center in one piece . After that, we only had time to quickly prepare for Shabbos . Brina I survived Hurricane Charlie . Elazar and I spent Shabbos at the Rabbi's house . We were about to eat our Shabbos dinner, when, Charlie with all its strength, arrived . The power went out and the only light we had was from the Shabbos lights . Elazar couldn't go home because power lines and trees were down all over the neighborhood and it was too dangerous to walk . Somehow, we survived a Shabbos with no lights, no cholent, and no air conditioning (95 degrees in Orlando ) . On Sunday Elazar wanted to take me to a restaurant in nearby Daytona, but Charlie had visited there also . The closest kosher food available was three hours south, so I called my grandma in Delray Beach and asked her if she wanted dinner guests .
After seven hours in the car on Sunday and spending the evening on the airport floor, I returned home to Chicago, already convinced that Elazar was ‘the one . '
We kept talking on the phone for long hours . I went to visit her twice, and she came to see me once more . Then, I “proposed” to her to go to New York , and we arranged a visit to the Rebbe's Ohel on Yud-Tes Kislev . Everybody knew what was going on, but it was still a ‘secret' . That day, I asked her to marry me, and she said “Yes . ” We called all of our friend,s and we received mazel tovs from Chicago , New York , New Jersey , and Florida . We went back to Chicago to spend Shabbos and the next day we flew together with Brina's parents to Orlando , where we had the L'chaim (Vort) .
The next thirteen weeks were the longest of my life . But B'H the day of the wedding came, and it was a picture-perfect Chicago spring day . HaShem has some very strange ways, and it is good to know that JWed is there to help fulfill His plans . So, the next time you receive a hurricane warning and go into panic mode, just watch out, your bashert might be just around the corner .
Elazar and Brina, JWed Match #188, were married Chof-Hay Adar Rishon 5765, March 6, 2005.
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