What the Tax Clerk Told Me
This morning I went to the tax office to find out how sizeable a chunk the Israeli government will be biting out of my husband’s salary in 2016.
April 1st is the final date to submit these important forms to all Israeli employers, so I assume the office has been swamped over the last few weeks. Maybe that’s why the security guard responded with the human equivalent of a growl when I asked him which way I should go to do a “tium mas.”
Feeling like a chastened 4-year-old, I followed the signs marking the way to the office I needed.
They say that there are no atheists in foxholes. But in my life, I would say there are no atheists in government offices. Anytime I need to place my fate into the hand of a government clerk, I start channeling Rav Arush: “Hashem, there is nothing but You! This clerk has no power over me! Everything is from you, everything is from you!”
Surprisingly, there were only two other people in the waiting room. And when my number was called, I reminded Hashem, “Everything that happens right now is from You!”
The clerk was a young religious guy, maybe in his late twenties. He looked at my husband’s salary form and said, “You used to live in Nachlaot, right?”
“Yes,” I said, wondering if our previous address appeared on the form.
“My wife was your husband’s student at Nishmat before we got married. She always told me about Rabbi Weisberg from Nachlaot and how the students loved coming to you for Shabbat meals.”
From one moment to the next, I went from being a chastened 4-year-old to an esteemed rebbetzin.
On the way home, the tium mas in my purse, I thought about the gift of that meeting.
I thought about how bringing Hashem into the picture doesn’t mean that everything works out just how I would like it to (as it hadn’t when, on the way to the tax office, I stopped to picked up a very important registered letter which, it turned out, has disappeared off the face of the earth despite all my Rav Arush channeling.)
Rather, the gift Hashem gave me this morning was the realization that I shouldn’t need a government clerk, married to my husband’s former student, to make me feel like a valuable, important human being.
That is a feeling I should carry in my heart always, no matter what security guard growls or tax clerk smiles. Always.