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"You shall be wholehearted with Hashem, your G-d:" (Devarim 18:13).

If a person is not satisfied with his particular situation, the Torah encourages us to pray to Hashem and ask Him to better it. However, this mitzvah comes to teach us to trust Hashem wholeheartedly, whatever His answer might be. Hashem hears all prayers but sometimes His answer is "No." If such is the case, we are expected to trust that whatever He wants is for the best and not try to "force" him to do our will.

In Tuvecha Yabiu, Rabbi Zilberstein shlita tells an interesting story about someone who was, perhaps, too overanxious and pushed a bit too hard.

A Torah scholar once approached Rabbi Mordechai Banet zt"l and described his financial situation as being intolerable. The Rabbi instructed him to purchase a lottery ticket and tell him the number. The Rabbi promised to pray that this number would win.

The young man was ecstatic. He immediately bought a lottery ticket and told Rabbi Banet the number. He was quite sure that if the great Rabbi would pray that his number would win then it would. He felt as if he already had the money in his pocket.

However, he and his family decided to perform a little "test" to "be sure" that the Rabbi's prayers would indeed be answered. The night before the drawing, they performed a mini-lottery of their own in their home. They wrote a bunch of numbers on papers and chose lots. Sure enough, their number was the lucky one. Now, the man was absolutely sure he would win tomorrow.

However, he did not.

Brokenhearted, he returned to Rabbi Banet and told him that his number had not been the winner. The Rabbi was amazed. "I prayed that that number should be picked," he said. "Tell me what you did since the time I promised you."

The man told the Rabbi about the test he had performed at home which was successful.

"Now I understand," replied the Rabbi. "My prayer was answered indeed and your number was picked - in your home. Had you only waited a few more hours it would have been picked in the real lottery the next day."

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel