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Simcha Groffman

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


The Right Address

"Yankie, can you please do an errand for me?"

"Sure thing, Imma. What would you like?"

"Can you please go to the store for me and buy a dozen eggs? Here is the money." "I'll be back in a jiffy, Imma."

Yankie takes the money and runs down the street, anxious to do the mitzvah of helping his Imma. He gets to the store, enters, and looks around.

"Excuse me sir, I would like to buy something, but I do not see it on the shelves?" "What would you like young man?" "A dozen eggs." "Young man, this is a hardware store. We do not sell eggs here." "I did not realize, sir. Sorry for troubling you."

Yankie moves on to the next store walks in the door and meets the saleswoman.

"May I help you, young man?"

"Yes. I need to buy something for my mother."

"What do you need, young man. We have all types of ladies clothing here." "She sent me to buy a dozen eggs." "You are not going to find eggs in a clothing store, young man." "I guess I am in the wrong store. Sorry."

Yankie is undaunted. He wants to help his Imma. The next store is just up the street. He is sure that he will find what he need in here.

"Young man, you look like you are anxious to but something."

"I sure am, sir. I wan to but a dozen eggs for my mother."

"Young man, this is a stationary store. We only sell paper goods here."

Yankie looks so disappointed. He wants so badly to help his Imma.

"Young man, you look so sad. What is the matter?"

"This is the third store that I've been to, and none of them sell eggs. Isn't there one address where I can get everything? Then I won't have to go looking around from place to place."

The storekeeper stroked his beard and smiled warmly at Yankie. This was an opportunity to make a Kiddush Hashem (Sanctification of Hashem's Name). He took a siddur (prayer book) off the shelf and opened to the Shmoneh Esrei (daily prayers).

"Young man, here is the address for everything."

"I don't understand, sir. This is a siddur, not an address book."

"Young man, the Jewish people read these prayers to Hashem three times every day. We ask Him for wisdom, forgiveness, health, livelihood, reward, justice, peace, as well as many other things. Now tell me something, young man. Would you ask someone for something, knowing that he could not give it to you?" "No sir. That would be a waste of time." "We ask Hashem for all of these things. Is He capable of giving them to us?" "Of course. Why else would we ask Him?" "Then He is the address that you have been looking for. He is the One who can provide you with everything. He wants to give it to you." "What do I have to do?" "First of all, you have to ask, ask, and ask again. You will not be a nudnik to Hashem. He wants you to keep asking. Then you will realize that everything comes from Him. Yaakov Avinu took the time to offer sacrifices and pray to Hashem on his way down to Mitzraim to meet his son, Yosef (Bereshis 46:1). He was concerned about what would happen to the Jewish people when they left the Land of Israel." "He knew the right address." "That's right. And now you know it too."

Kinderlach . . .

There is one address for all of your requests. Hashem. Three times a day. Are you feeling sick? Ask Him for good health. Do you want to do well on your Chumash test? He can help you. Are you having a hard time getting along with your brother? Hashem is the peacemaker. He wants you to ask Him for everything. Soon it will begin to dawn on you that He is the One Who provides us with everything that we have. Then you will realize how wonderful He is. And you will want to be close to Him. Kinderlach, that is the best thing in the world.


"Imma, I'm home. Did you hear the news?"

"What news, Devora?"

"About the bus."

"Uh oh. Is it good or bad news?"

"Why do you ask, Imma?"

"I'll tell you Devora. Good news is wonderful. We always want to hear good news. However, bad news is a different story." "Do you mean that I shouldn't tell you bad news, Imma?" "It depends, Devoraleh. If it is news about a sick person whom I can pray for, then you should definitely tell me. However, you should be very careful about how you relate such news." "What do you mean, Imma?" "Break the news gently, with a lot of sympathy and empathy." They (the brothers) broke the news (to Yaakov) saying, "Yosef is still alive, and he rules over all the land of Mitzraim." But his (Yaakov's) heart became numb, for he could not believe them" (Bereshis 45:26). Rav Daniel Travis, in his book, "Priceless Integrity" relates the commentary of the Sforno on this verse. The news was such a shock to Yaakov that he passed out and suffered minor heart dysfunction. We see how important it is to consider how the listener will receive the news.

Kinderlach . . .

Think twice and three times before telling someone bad news. Is there a good reason for them to hear this? Be very careful. Bad news can very often contain loshon hora. Even if you must tell the news, say it as gently as possible. Be sympathetic with the listener. Imagine how you would feel hearing such news. Kinderlach, may we all hear only good news!

Kinder Torah Copyright 2001 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman

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