Dear Rabbi Brody,
...Lately, I've been accident prone. I have a one year-old Toyota, and lately I seem to be making little mistakes all the time - parking the car in the rain and dark, and bumping the rear of the car into a pole; rushing while driving my children to music lessons, and the tire hit the curb and the tire cover popped off; pulling out into traffic, and I lightly grazed a fence and now have a streak on the side of the car.
None of these incidents involved harming myself, anyone else, or anyone else's car (thank G-d!), they are purely incidents of damage that I have done - completely inadvertently, but clearly, something is going on! I was actually distressed by how nice my husband has been - I thought he should yell at me and tell me to be more careful, slow down, why aren't you taking better care of our car? But he has been downright kind!
I've prayed for help in understanding what these small, but clearly repetitive, mistakes mean, but I haven't received any answers. In your opinion, what should I do?
SG: Sleep more? Pay more attention? Also, how is "parking the car in the rain and the dark" a mistake? What is she supposed to do instead?
But wait, there's more:
In general, B"H, I am modern Orthodox, 38 years old, married happily for 15 years to a better-than-ever husband, we have 4 beautiful daughters, and we are blessed with an adequate income. I am grateful for all of these blessings, and in general, I am a happy person. This is the one area I need help with. With appreciation for your advice and help, Suzanne R.,
SG: Why are you asking a rabbi about your inability to drive?
Me: Because it's clearly a SIGN about something!
SG: [Angry sigh.]
Lazer writes back:
These are personal wake-up calls from Hashem to catch your attention. The dents in the car (blemishes in the machine's outer appearance) indicate that you have things to fix in your outer appearance. Without knowing you personally, I'd say that the repeated mishaps are probably a call to improve your modesty in dress and head covering. Blessings always, LB
SG: When in doubt, blame the woman.
Me: Without knowing anything about you, I'm going to guess you're probably ugly. Maybe you should consider plastic surgery.
We were hoping Suzanne would write back and give Lazer a piece of her mind, or explain why there is no sensical correlation between one's ability to drive and tznius. Did we get our wish?
Well, sort of. She did write back...
Dear Rabbi Brody,
I want to thank you for your note from October 31st. You had no way of knowing this, but I hadn't been covering my hair at all. After I received your note, it all fell into place: I decided it was time to buy some head-coverings.
The next day when I drove home from work with my head covered for the first time, I had a co-worker with me. As soon as I entered the highway, she said, "Slow down! The speed limit on this road it 50, not 60, and you might get a ticket." I felt Hashem's love and protection being channelled through my friend, and I immediately relaxed and drove more slowly. Thank G-d, I haven't had any incidents with the car since.
So thank you very much for your advice. It helped me a great deal. Most sincerely, Suzanne
SG: How convenient that, right at that moment, God was working through your friend telling you to stop driving like a maniac! It's too bad he was content to let you put yourself and everyone around you at risk unless you stopped showing your hair like a tramp.
Next time: Suzanne asks Lazer why her kugel sucks. Lazer's answer: buy longer sleeves.