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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Mishpatim

Upon Whom Do You Rely?

"Shalom my dear wife, Esti! I'm home."

"Shalom, Moshe! It is so good to see you! I did not expect you home so soon."

"Well, there is a good reason for my coming home early from work today."

"Is everything okay?"

"Esti, please sit down."

Esti sits down with a worried look on her face.

"I lost my job."

"What?!? How can it be? You have been working for the same company for ten years! They really value you and your work. What happened?"

"The company went bankrupt and closed down. Everyone lost their jobs."

"What are we going to do? We have a family to support."

"I know. We are in a difficult situation. However, I have an idea."

Moshe walks over to the bookshelf, takes two sifrei Tehillim in hand, opens to chapter 146 and begins praying.

"'Halleuka! My soul will praise Hashem!' My tribute does not come merely from the lips and outward, rather from the depths of my soul!i1 Siddur Iyun Tefillah I will praise Hashem with my life. I will sing to my G-d as long as I live. Do not rely on noblemen (people in positions of power); in man who has no salvation.' The Malbim relates the reason why we are commanded not to trust in nobles. A man of flesh and blood has no koach (might) of his own to save someone. Any power that he does have comes totally from the Almighty. The Radak adds that Hashem even puts the desire into the heart of the noble to help. Therefore, why rely upon the servant? No human being can help or save without Hashem. The salvation is His, and we are just His agents. Therefore, go straight to the source to state your plea. 'When his spirit departs, he returns to the earth, on that day his plans all perish.' The Malbim explains that even if man did have the koach to save, he could die any second, and his plans die with him. How can you trust in someone so frail? Rely only on the Eternal, the All powerful. 'Trust in the G-d of Yaakov, Hashem.'"

"This is so inspiring, Moshe. Why is Hashem called the G-d of Yaakov?"

"The Medrash (Bereshis Rabba 68:2) relates that Yaakov was traveling to the house of Lavan with no possessions (Elifaz, the son of Eisav had stolen everything he had). To Whom did Yaakov turn for help? 'I raise my eyes to the mountains, from where will my help come?' Eliezer came with gold jewelry to bring Rivka to my father. What shall I do? I have nothing to betroth a wife. 'My help is from Hashem, Maker of heaven and earth' (Tehillim 121:1,2). Indeed the Torah itself testifies that Yaakov trusted Hashem, 'Behold, I am with you and I will guard you wherever you go' (Bereshis 28:15)."

"Moshe, we need not worry. Hashem is with us."

"Yes, Esti. He is All Powerful; He makes heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. He guards the truth forever. The Radak relates that He alone has always proven dependable and faithful, for there are no limits to His essence and power. The psalm then goes on to list the Merciful One's chassodim (acts of kindness). He performs justice for the oppressed; He gives bread to the hungry; He releases the imprisoned, gives sight to the blind, straightens the bent, loves the righteous, and protects strangers. He encourages the orphan and widow, while thwarting the plans of the wicked.'" "Moshe, we have nothing to worry about. Hashem is in control. Losing your job is just a test. We will place our faith and trust in Him, pray, do teshuva, acts of kindness, and wait for His salvation. 'Hashem will reign forever; your G-d, Tzion, throughout all generations, halleluka!'"

Kinderlach . . .

Do you recognize this psalm? We say it every morning in Pisukei DiZimra after Ashrei. It acclaim's G-d's loving care as experienced by each Jew in his own life. We all have our challenges and tests. To Whom do we turn? Who do we rely upon? Not flesh and blood. He has no power to save, and even if he did, he could lose it any moment. Rather, we put our faith in the Eternal, All Powerful G-d of Yaakov. He saved our ancestor from Lavan, and took his descendants out of Mitzrayim. He has done countless chassodim for our nation throughout the generations. He is the Ruler of the universe and will reign forever and ever. Praise Him - Halleluka!

His, Not Yours

"This view is absolutely magnificent."

"Yerushalayim is the most beautiful part of our tour of Eretz Yisrael."

"I must take a picture. Oh no. My camera is out of film. Can I please borrow your camera?"

"If it was my camera, I would lend it to you in an instant. However, I am only borrowing it from someone else."

"I am sure that he will not mind. I'll pay you for the picture."

"He only give permission for me to use it. No one else."

"What's the difference?"

"I will explain it to you. My possessions are mine. If they get lost or damaged, I alone suffer the loss. However, with other people's possessions, I must be very careful. He trusted me with his camera. He wants it back in one piece. I must answer to him."

* * *

"Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce. And in the seventh, you shall let it rest . . . Six days you shall do your activities, and on the seventh day you shall rest . . ." (Shemos 23:10-12). Why are these two mitzvos juxtaposed? They both have common themes of working six time periods and resting on the seventh. The Torah Temima has a deeper insight. The purpose of resting on the seventh day and the seventh year are one and the same. They demonstrate that Hashem created the world. It all belongs to Him. He instructs us how to use His world, when to work and when to rest. Therefore we must take special care of His possessions. Just as the boy in the story took extra special care of the camera that was not his.

Kinderlach . . .

The Torah is our instruction book. It provides directions for the proper use of Hashem's world. Follow the directions, and you will accomplish great things. You will be happy and Hashem will be happy. Think about this all of the time. Your eating, sleeping, playing, walking to school, time at home, and many other things should all be done according to the Torah. Use Hashem's world to the max.

1 Siddur Iyun Tefillah

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