I was scheduled to go to Columbus for a trial prep meeting on Wednesday night and to return on an 8 pm flight on Thursday night. That is until I checked the Columbus weather as I was driving to work on Wednesday and found that Columbus was forecasted to get “severe thunderstorms” on Thursday night. Just what I needed! To be stuck in Columbus on Erev Yom Kippur! In addition, as I looked more closely at the time for mincha in Columbus – 6:55 pm – and my arrival time in Baltimore – 9:25 pm – I realized that there was a very high likelihood that I would miss both mincha and maariv. When I got to the office I decided to call my co-counsel and explain my concerns. He was very understanding and agreed that we have a skype session instead. That is what we did, everyone was impressed by how effective it was and I was confident that I had avoided a major saying kaddish problem.
So I thought.
Our skype session lasted for hours and did not finish in time for me to make the 1:45 pm mincha minyan at the Agudah office. No worries, I thought to myself, ‘I will leave the office a bit early, go to the 6:35 pm mincha minyan in my shul, and then finish working in my home office after shul.’ Simple enough.
I left the office at 5:45 pm with plenty of time to make the 6:35 pm minyan. Much to my dismay, every route was clogged with traffic – New York style, bumper to bumper traffic. As I maneuvered through route change after route change the clock ticked away. No way would I get to shul by 6:35 pm. My stress level and frustration increased with every minute. Would I at least get to shul in time to say kaddish at the very end of mincha? At 6:45 pm as I was literally stopped in traffic near the 4 corners intersection (normally 5 minutes from YISE)I did not think I would make it. I was despondent. How was it possible that Erev Yom Kippur, in Silver Spring, I was going to miss saying kaddish? At this rate I could have gone to Columbus!
Chasdei Hashem (with G-d’s kindness) I eventually made it to shul just as they were finishing mincha and I was able to say kaddish. Not without a lot of stress and angst but thankful nonethless.