No coincidence, you and I


Your grandfather Lev is fond of saying that there are no such things as coincidences in life. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s wrong. I suspect we’ll never really know.

A coincidence is when things you didn’t think of, combine to create an effect you didn’t expect.

Here’s a story that will help you understand: When I was in the army I was stationed in Gaza, a dangerous place for us. Curiously, and unwittingly [perhaps ‘coincidentally’], I assembled a whole bunch of green things around me: a green blanket, green shower slippers, a green bag [my own, not the one the army gave me, which was also green], a green CD player. The Israeli army gives you a lot of green things when you join it, but you can always get more of your own things.

They say that green is apparently very good for your eyes because the color makes them relax, and whatever is good for your eyes is good for you, because you have to keep your eyes peeled all the time when you’re in the army. Can you believe that? Imagine I was in the army and needed to keep my eyes peeled all the time but all I had around me where red things, or blue things, or yellow things. My eyes would be tired all the time (actually I remember my eyes being tired all the time). But God sent me green slippers, and green bags, and green shirts, and green caps, and a green CD player (you probably won’t know what that is).

By the way, you might go to the army one day. But I don’t want to think about that now. We’ll talk about that when the time comes.

So do you see what I mean about coincidence? Maybe it was just coincidence that all my things ended up being green or maybe God was looking after my eyes. Either way, looking back on it now, I’m inclined to think that God was looking after my eyes, because CD players come in so many different colors; and how is it that I ended up getting a green one?

One day we’ll talk about faith, and our religion too. You were born Jewish in Israel. That has special meaning, and unique consequences too.

We’ll talk about all these things when the time comes. Right now what I wanted to say to you is this:

I think God has brought you to me and me to you. I don’t think you and I are each other’s coincidence.

I stand above your cot in the darkened room, watching you fall asleep. I stand far enough away so that you think you’re alone, while you struggle with approaching sleep, struggle with putting your mind at rest, and slowly put yourself to sleep. I stand close enough so that, maybe, you’ll feel me close by, and know that it’s me, the “one that is there” (perhaps that’s the ultimate definition of ’father’?), the one that smiles at you, looks at you, sings to you. I’m the last face you see at night, and the first one you see in the morning. The one that you smile to when you awake and see me standing there again as if everything that happened between when you fell asleep and when you awoke was just a dream.

And during the night I stalk into your room and bend down over your cot, hovering just above you, scanning you, stalking you.  It’s not a coincidence that you trust me enough to fall asleep in this world, one which you know nothing of yet. This is not a given. Not every newcomer to this world falls asleep as easily as you do.  (Your mother says I should add “for now” so that i don’t jinx it.)  I hover there over your face for a little while,  getting into your mind with mine, and sending you a smile to wherever you are, so that your dreams are golden. And if they are, that too is no coincidence.


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