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Simcha Groffman

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

Parshas Yisro

Nothing Besides Him

"Abba, can you please help me with my homework tonight?"

"I just have to print out one page from the computer, Leah, then I can help you."

"Okay Abba."

He feeds the piece of paper into the laser printer, and waits for it to come out. The red light goes on, indicating a paper jam.

"Just a minute, Leah. The paper got stuck inside."

The father opens the cover of the printer and removes the toner cartridge. The paper is wedged strongly in there. When he attempts to pull it out, pieces tear off. The main part of the paper remains jammed in the printer.

"This is going to be harder than I thought, Leah. Can you bring my tool kit?"

"Right away Abba."

The father looks for a way to take apart the laser printer to loosen the jammed paper. However, the machine is not made to be serviced by an amateur. He takes out a few screws, but to no avail. The paper remains stuck.

"How is it going Abba?"

"Not too well, Leah."

The beads of sweat begin to form on the father's forehead. He sees no way out of this paper jam. Suddenly, he remembers a story he heard about a woman who was born and raised in the old settlement of Yerushalaim. Whenever something would break in her house, she saw it as a sign from Hashem. She put some money in the tsedaka box, and said a paragraph of Tehillim. If that did not help, she then called the repairman.

"Leah, we need more help from Hashem. Can you please say some Tehillim?"

"Where do I start, Abba?"

"Why not start from the beginning."

Leah opens up her book of Tehillim and begins . . .

"Ashrei ha-ish asher lo halach bi-atzas reshaim . . ." (Fortunate is the man who does not follow the counsel of the wicked).

She keeps reciting the Tehillim, but the jammed paper does not budge.

"Abba, what will we do?"

"I don't know Leah. The paper is not coming out. I guess that I will have to send the machine to the repair shop. I will lose so much time, and will be so behind on my work. It will probably cost a lot of money also. What can I do? Let it be a kaparah (atonement). It is better to spend the money on repairs, than on medical bills, chas veshalom (Heaven forbid). Wait one moment, Leah.

Suddenly, the father remembers another thing he had learned lately. Rav Chaim Volozhin zt"l, the great head of the Volozhin Yeshiva wrote about the tremendous power of the words, "Ain od milvado" (there is nothing other than Him). If a person fixed in his heart that there is no other power in the world besides Hashem, no other force or person can rule over him. The father slowly begins to say the words . . .

"Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado."

He says them over and over again. The father instantly calms down. He realizes that this is all a test from Heaven. He takes a deep breath. His hands become more relaxed. He takes a pair of pliers in his hand and gently begins to pull at the jammed paper.

"Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado."

The paper slowly begins to move. A small piece comes out of the printer.

"Is it working Abba?"

"Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado."

Another piece of paper comes out, then another and another.

"Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado."

"Abba, all of the paper is coming out."

The last little piece of paper comes out of the printer. Now the father begins the task of putting the printer back together. Will it work?

"Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado."

All of the screws go in to place. The cover snaps on.

"Leah, now we will see if the printer works. It may be scratched or damaged inside from the tugging and pulling at the jammed paper."

The father inserts a piece of paper and presses the print button. Everyone holds their breath.

"Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado . . . Ain od milvado."

A beautifully printer piece of paper rolls out of the laser printer. The machine is working perfectly.

Kinderlach . . .

Leah and her Abba learned a very important lesson. Ain od milvado. Those words are part of a verse referring to the giving of the Torah on Har Sinai. It reads, "You have been shown to know that Hashem is G-d. There is nothing besides Him" (Devarim 4:35). How were we shown? Rashi explains that Hashem opened up all of the heavens and revealed the entire world to the Jewish people. They saw everything. Therefore, they saw that there was nothing else in the world besides Hashem. It was incredible. It is just as true now, as it was then. There is nothing else in the world besides Hashem. It may not always be so easy to see that. We have to work at it. One way is to keep saying, "Ain od milvado." These worlds have special spiritual powers to help us. Whenever you feel that Hashem is far away, just remember these words. He is right here. There is nothing but Him.

Kinder Torah Copyright 2003 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman

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