Moishel'e "Good Shabbos"
Struggle Against Hellenism

Despair meets Emuna

Despair met Emuna (Faith) while waiting in line the Ashdod post office. Despair was mailing off a stack of protest letters, while Faith was mailing a stack of Perek Shira booklets. Here's the gist of their conversation:

Emuna(with a big smile): Shalom, Despair! How are you feeling?

Despair: Don't ask. We've been sold down the river by our own "leaders". Every inch of Israel has a Syrian , iranian or Hizbulla missile aimed at it. Nothing's going right. Nobody cares. It's all over – pretty soon, no more anything…

Emuna: Stop talking like that silly! Hashem can cancel the entire evil decree in another minute.

Despair: I don't want to hear about Hashem. He's forgotten us completely.

Emuna: Hashem doesn't forget an ameba, much less a human. Hashem loves each and every one of his creations. He calls Israel the "Holy Land" and calls us the "chosen people". If Hashem worries about the needs of every little worm and mosquito, he certainly concerns himself with the plight of his chosen children in the Holy Land.

Despair: Oh yeh, then what's Hashem doing about the massive missile armaments of our hostile neighbors? What's He doing about the government, the corruption, the economic situation?… He doesn't care about us any more…

Emuna: The very first tenet of our faith is that Hashem is the Creator and ruler of the world, who did, does, and will do every action. All those things you're angry with are nothing but scalpels in Hashem's loving hands, and all for our ultimate good. Sometimes, a doctor has to make an incision in the patient's flesh to save the patient, but that certainly doesn't mean that the doctor doesn't care about the patient; on the contrary! The doctor is the epitome of compassion; he deals in healing people!

Despair: Hashem's not interested in healing us. I haven't seen him make any house calls lately.

Emuna: That's because you don't open your eyes. He's massaging your heart and operating your brain this very second. He's even creating the microorganisms that are helping digest the food in your belly this very minute. Hashem's not only interested in helping and healing each and every one of us, He created us in order to bestow his compassion and lovingkindness on us! What looks to you like an impending disaster will turn out to be the redemption of our people. Hizbulla and Hamas are only small parts in a big puzzle that's designed to prepare us for a life of bliss in the Eretz Yisrael of Moshiach and Beit Hamikdash. Before every birth comes excruciating labor pains. We just have to pray that Hashem gives us the strength and wisdom to hang on to our faith, no matter what!

Despair: I've got no desire nor strength to pray. I'm burnt out. Besides, I don't belong to a synagogue and don't know how to pray.

Emuna: You don't need to "know how", and you don't need a synagogue. Find some quiet place and begin talking to Hashem like you would a loving parent. Ask Hashem to teach you how to pray, to put the right words in your mouth. You'll accomplish a lot more talking to Hashem than you will passing out your protest leaflets. Give it a try – Hashem's waiting for you.

Despair (sneaks a peek at the pretty embossed pamphlets in Emuna's shopping bag): Hey, what are those pamphlets? The pictures of the sunsets and the animals are really eye-catching.

Emuna: These are "Perek Shira" pamphlets. Perek Shira is the ancient prayer telling how all of creation sings its daily song to Hashem. It's really soothing for the soul, and invokes Divine mercy and blessings.

Despair: Can I have one of those?

Emuna: My pleasure. Try reciting Perek Shira – it will open up a whole new life for you…

Postal Clerk (to Emuna): It's your turn, ma'am.

Despair (out the door, waving behind him, while throwing the packet of protest letters in a nearby waste can): See ya, Emuna. I'm gonna give this a try!

Emuna (waves back at Despair): G-d bless, chabibi! (turning to Postal Clerk): Can you give me a bulk airmail rate for 1500 pamphlets to America? By the way, sir - do you say Perek Shira? Here (gives the clerk a pamphlet); say this every day for 40 days straight, and you'll probably see some miracles in your life.

Postal Clerk: Like a raise in salary, a new apartment, and a new baby maybe?

Emuna: Our father in Heaven is a zillionaire; for Him, all that stuff is small change. He just wants to hear your voice...

**********

Hashem is waiting to hear your voice, too. If you're not saying Perek Shira already, now's a good time to start.

Deer are very spiritual. They sing to Hashem (see Perek Shira), ..."I will sing of Your might, and rejoice towards morning in Your kindness, for You have been a stronghold to me, and a refuge in the day of my distress (Psalms 59:17)," for Hashem constantly saves the deer from the ferocious wolves and bears of the forest. By no random coincidence, Eretz Yisroel is called "Eretz HaTzvi", or "land of the deer". Our power is in our prayer, not in our biceps.

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