12 Cheshvan 5779 / Sunday, October 21, 2018 | Torah Reading: Va'era
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HomeJudaismConcepts in JudaismWho Else Can I Ask From?
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Who Else Can I Ask From?    

Who Else Can I Ask From?

How many times do we turn to Hashem, out loving Father, with a million reasons of why we deserve to get what we ask for? Are our arguments convincing?


I was watching my kids through the window playing actively outdoors, enjoying the last licks of the warm weathers. They were animatedly raking the first batch of freshly fallen leaves, as the onset of fall kicked in.


My six year old Vrumy suddenly dropped the rake, as he eyed an approaching friend who was licking an oversized ice cream cone. It didn't take a minute and Vrumy was inside, right next to me, with eyes open as wide as a scoop of ice cream. 


"Mommy, today is Tuesday, right?" He asked.


"Yes sweetie", I answered, "and so what?" I searched his eyes for a clue.


"That means yesterday was Monday, right?"


"Right,"I said with pretended patience, trying to figure out what he was aiming at.


This was Vrumy. Sharp, brilliant, and twisted. Never straightforward.


"And every Monday is my turn to tidy up the toys. And I did. And now I want an ice cream as a reward."


Six year old brilliance. Vrumy always needed to feel he earned his prize. Now I was here to teach him a lesson. I had no intentions of withholding an ice cream from him, it was just a perfect opportunity for a lesson.


"Vrumy, you are mommy's great helper!" I exclaimed. "And you did clean up the toys. Let me see if you deserve the ice cream just yet." 


"Do you know what happened after you went to sleep? Mommy vacuumed the floor, and you know what was behind the sofa? A collection of Legos, dominoes, cars, and dinosaurs; Mommy had to pack them all away. And you know what else? Shimon was crawling around and spotted the uncovered bucket of Legos, and scattered Legos all over the room. Then mommy had to collect them all over again. I don’t think such a job deserves ice cream."


Vrumy's eyes drooped, just like melting scoops of ice cream. He frowned.


"But you know what?" He insisted. "The week before, I did do a good job, and I promise for next week to do even better," he said in one breath.


I wasn't gonna let him get away that easily, and I replied:


"When you get it done better next time, you will get the ice cream then."


I could almost see the engines in his brain overworking, searching for a new reason to get his way with me. He started stammering:


"So then just for helping you, and also for doing my homework on time."


His eyes were pleading. I really had to be strong and not let my motherly instincts dominate.


I reminded him that the last week his homework was done past our agreed time.


He saw he had no way. His eyes sank even lower. I could see he was disappointed and sad. Yet, he attempted once more.


"Mommy, but I want an ice cream!" He said half pleading, half demanding. "Chaimy has a real big one, and I want one too! You are my mommy! Who else can I ask? Do you want me to ask Chaimy's mom? Shouldn't I be asking everything I need from you?"


"Ahhhhhh..." I exclaimed, as I hugged Vrumy so tight, he screamed.


"That is absolutely correct! I am your mommy, and you can ask me for everything! Here is an ice cream for you. A real big one. Just like that, for nothing. Just because you are my son, and you asked for it."


* * *


How many times do we turn to Hashem, our loving Father, with a million reasons of why we deserve to get what we ask for?


"Hashem, I just did a tremendous Chessed, a charitable act. Just the other day I cooked a hearty five course meal for our new couple, who were coming over for dinner, when suddenly the volunteer from bikur cholim called me to ask for an urgent back up meal, covering for someone who backed out last minute. Imagine, I gave away my fresh meal, and served my couple dinner from the freezer. Isn't this true chessed? Please Hashem, I really deserve to get that job I applied for. I really want it, and I deserve it."


"And Hashem, haven't You noticed my modesty, my tznius lately? I have done so much to improve, despite the hardships and critics. Real dedication, mesirus nefesh. I surely deserve to get that new car I am dreaming of."


Hashem, our father, says:


"It is true, you have done much. Let me see if you are worthy of your prize just yet..."


"Your chessed? Ummm... well, look at our ancestor Rivka Imeinu. She was the symbol of Chessed. Look at her chessed. Do you want to compare your level of chessed to hers? Maybe when you will improve your chessed, and reach closer to Rivkah's level, I will reconsider your job."


"And your tznius? Well, look at our ancestor Sarah Imeinu. She was the symbol of tznius. Do you want to compare your tznius to hers? Go look in the mirror and see for yourself. Maybe when your level of tznius will reach closer to Sarah's level, I will grant you that new car."


So we see, we are not worthy to receive anything at all. Everything we have been given until now was purely a gift from Hashem. Our merciful father bestowed upon us gifts for no reason other than because we are his children, and He is our father. So we need to turn to Hashem, and ask him for everything we need, not because we deserve, but because he is our loving father, and we don’t have anyone else to turn to.


May all our prayers be answered, and all our needs be fulfilled abundantly.

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