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" And Noach awoke from his wine…" (Bereishis 9:24).

Everyone knows that we are living in the Generation of Teshuvah (Repentance) as thousands of men and women, boys and girls, are returning to their roots and becoming strictly Torah observant. The interesting thing is that all Hashem asks is that the person makes the first move. Then, He helps along in fascinating ways; even revealing Himself to the ba'al teshuvah in one way or another.

In Barechi Nafshi, Rabbi Zilberstein tells of a person he knows who was not religious but began to strengthen himself a bit in Torah observance. However, he had an old "custom" that whenever he purchased a lot of groceries he would find a way to hide one of them and take it home without paying for it. Although he had begun to repent from his evil ways, he retained this "custom" of his.

One Friday, when he went shopping, the item he chose to hide was a bottle of wine. That evening, he recited the kiddush on a brimming cup of that very wine. When he finished, he brought the cup close to his mouth and sipped a mouthful of the delicious beverage. Suddenly, something very strange happened. Somehow, the wine got stuck in his throat and he began to choke on it. He worked hard to free himself of the deadly liquid and then took another sip. Amazingly, the incident repeated himself and he began to choke on the wine again!

It didn't take much intelligence for him to realize that since he had begun the process of teshuvah, Hashem was communicating with him and reprimanding him for stealing wine and then making kiddush upon it. From then on, he became much stronger in his new way of life, and before long he was a full fledged ba'al teshuvah.

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel