I recently purchased a necklace over the internet with the saying "If I forget Jerusalem, may my right arm be of no use to me" . The first time I wore the item, it fell off in a department store and my son who is 12 and has good eyesight, found the item on the floor after we looked all over the store for said item. The second time I wore this piece of jewelry, I was at a botanical garden and was stung by a wasp on the right arm, (my right arm was for all purposes, useless due to pain and swelling), furthermore this sting required a doctors attention and prescription medication, due to the severity of my reaction to the wasp bite. Besides the fact that I am left handed, and the wasp bit me on the right arm, in the biceps region, I am wary about ever wearing this jewelry again. I know this sounds ridiculous in these modern times; but this seems a bit creepy to me. I also, unfortunately, at the age of 19, was in Israel less than one week when the Yom Kippur war broke out. Am I missing something here or are these coincidences that have no meaning?
We all believe in Hasgacha Pratit (divine guidance). Every Jew of faith does a Cheshbon Nefesh (soul searching) and always checks for what can be corrected in everyday life with regards to the service of G-d, and to increase his Mitzvot, good deeds. The necklace you bought is certainly a good deed, serving as an expression of your yearning for Jerusalem and identifying with the Divine value of Jerusalem to the Jewish people . I don’t think any connection should be made between the 3 events you mentioned in your letter. There can be many reasons for the pain brought upon you by the wasp sting, not necessarily connected with your necklace. Therefore you can certainly go on wearing the necklace and remember Jerusalem and your love for our eternal city. I would even suggest you give a more tangible expression to that love by contributing to a cause that promotes the building of Jerusalem and the study of Torah in Jerusalem. May the Almighty bless you with success and good fortune, good health and Simchas in your personal life. Rabbi Eliezer Waldman