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Miracle Daddy

Riva Pomerantz

When Shaindel Simes first learned that her husband had suffered a Category 4 injury to his spine, she didn’t fully absorb how dramatically life would change for the devoted father, beloved rebbi, and pillar of Ottawa’s Jewish community. But as the months went on with their share of mountains and miracles, Rabbi Yehuda Simes proved that despite his physical limitations, on the soul level very little had changed.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It’s 10 p.m. and the long, twisting swaths of Highway 81 are dark and desolate as the minivan sails by, winding its way towards the Canadian border.

Rabbi Yehuda and Shaindel Simes exchange weary but satisfied smiles. It has been a good trip, evidenced by the seven snacking, chatting children in the back seat, but now it’s time to get back to the Ottawa community they cherish, where they are both beloved teachers of Torah, involved in myriad kiruv activities. In fact, remembers Shaindel, it’s time to make a mental shopping list for this week, taking into account the dozens of guests who usually frequent their home on both weekdays and Shabbosos.

“We’ll be home in less than two hours,” one of the Simes children promises her oldest brother, who’s waiting for them at home.

Suddenly, impaled in the headlights, a large form looms ominously in front of the minivan. It’s a deer on the highway. Hitting a deer, Shaindel knows, is a danger that must be avoided. She swerves not a moment too soon. The car shimmies, balks, skids, and then they are keeling over, rolling endlessly on the stretch of pavement that plays with the van a morbid game of tennis. There are shrieks, screams, and the cell phone cuts off abruptly. Then everything is terribly, deathly silent.

 

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