Parashat Vaetchanan

By Rabbi Aharon Seleh

The מדרש תנחומה brings down that משה רבנו asked Hashem “The Jews committed many sins, yet you pardoned them. Now, please pardon my sin too!” Hashem gave him a few reasons why he wouldn’t pardon his sin. One of them was that he had delayed his prayer! The time when they would have been accepted had passed. How important it is never to delay our prayers! If we are in need of help, we should immediately beseech Hashem.

Furthermore, at times Hashem causes events to happen to motivate us. There are no atheists in a foxhole. We connect to Hashem better when the going is tough. But why wait for tough times to pray? The gemara says one should always pray that they should stay healthy and have sustenance…Because if hard times hit, it takes more effort to turn the tide. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. But even then, prayer is effective.

There was a couple who lost their baggage at the airport. Tefillin, jewelry, and $10,000 cash had been inside. The husband never stopped praying to get back his tefillin. A few weeks later a man called and said he found the baggage. He returned it. Inside they found the tefillin and the cash, but the jewelry was missing. The wife was beside herself. If the man returned the cash, why keep the jewelry? She realized Hashem’s hand in the events. While her husband had constantly prayed to get his things back, she never said one prayer for her jewelry! Alas at times it’s too late, she lost out.

Shabbat Shalom