Hashgacha Pratis: Just a Leaf

Esty Stern
Creative 2020 / Finalists

Everything that happens is for a purpose.

Chassidus explains this concept in many places. In Sefer Hamaamarim(Kuntreisim, vol 2, page רעט), the Frierdiker Rebbe writes about this in detail. Here is what it says in brief:

“We learn from the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov, that every created thing is being watched and directed by Hashem in all the events that happen to them.”

The Frierdiker Rebbe then explains: Hashem causes things to happen in order to accomplish other things that are important for the world. For example: On a bright summer day, a sudden strong wind erupts and starts to blow leaves off of the trees, and to move around the straw in the field. A few minutes later, the wind dies down and disappears, as if it never came. The purpose of the strong wind was to cause the leaves and straw to move from place to place, and there’s a purpose behind it, why it needed to happen. So when you see a leaf or a piece of straw floating around in the streets, it’s all behashgacha pratis.

Even more so when it comes to humans in general, and to Yidden specifically. Everything that happens in our lives, the family we’re born in, the people we encounter, the places we visit, the triumphs, and the challenges, are all being directed by Hashem and have a purpose we may never know. This idea is calming and reassuring, especially during times of hardships and uncertainty, since we are sure that Hashem made this happen for a reason.

I composed a song, using the moshul of a leaf as the Frierdiker Rebbe brings down. Presented in the attached video are the lyrics and music synchronized. Although I’m unable to sing the song, the words fit to the tune and create a beautiful blend.


(tune, lyrics, music & video)

I begin my life so small
A newborn bud on a tree tall
Every breath I slowly unfurl
Future unknown in this far world

Sunny days of growth stretch by
Colorful blends fill me with pride
As a ripened leaf I reflect
What will happen to me next?

Sudden winds blow up a storm
My grasp to solidness forcefully torn
A sharp plunge drags me away
Foreign thoughts enter all gray

What will be? Is this the end?
Why do I feel lost and uncertain?
Announce Your salvation I cry
Reveal the meaning on high
For my life

As the rainy winds turn to snow
I gently make my descent below
A tiny seed all alone
Pleads for a safe comforting home

Spreading out my gracious wing
A haven for the frightened seed
Now protected and ready to thrive
Newfound friendship in our lives

As a warm breeze lifts me away
I thank the One pulling the strings of my day
Petals and blossoms near shine
Revealing my purpose divine

Right at ease, not afraid as before
I believe just a leaf can accomplish more
Uncertain where I’m headed next
Yet sure this journey’s the best
For my life