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Parshat Balak: The Way a Person Wants to Go

Sometimes, the Answer is "No"

Loving Answer
Many people, no matter what level of religious observance they're on, ask Hashem for something that they need. It could be a soulmate, children, money, health, or whatever they need at that moment. When they don't get what they want, many times they come to the conclusion that Hashem isn't listening to their prayers.

This couldn't be further from the truth. How can I prove it? Here's the test. Parents, imagine if your child came to you with a very concerned look on his face. "Mommy, Daddy, I really need your help with something," he asks. Would you ever think to ignore his plea for help? Who could turn their backs on their child when he comes to them with a problem, or with a request for something he needs? Even if you decide not to grant that request, surely you would at least hear him out.

Hashem is infinitely more compassionate and merciful than the most loving parent. When one of His children calls out to Him for help, He drops everything else to come close to them and listen to their requests. So, if Hashem is always listening, then why aren't all of our requests granted?

As loving parents, we try to do what's best for our children. If your child wants to eat a chocolate bar for dinner, you will not allow it, because you know it will ruin his appetite and fill him up with sugar and chemicals right before bedtime. No matter how much he cries and screams, most parents will hold firm to their response: "No. This is not good for you right now."

Who knows what would happen if we got what we think we needed? It could end up being the worst thing for us. Maybe the million dollars in the bank will make us become arrogant and insensitive. Maybe the person you wanted to marry would have been a less than wonderful spouse. Maybe the dream job would have come with a nightmare boss. 

Hashem knows what's best for us. It's our job to believe that. 

So, yes - sometimes the answer is, "No."


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Mr. Cohen

Someone once asked Rabbi Chaim Meir of Vizhnitz, the author of “Imrei Chaim” if there is anything G_d cannot do.

To his astonishment, the Rabbi said yes, there is one thing that G_d cannot do.

The person asked: “What could that possibly be?”

The Rabbi answered: “G_d cannot bear the pain of hearing one Jew ridicule another.”

CHRONOLOGY: Rabbi Chaim Meir Hager, the 4th Rebbe of Vizhnitz, and author of Imrei Chaim, lived from year 1888 CE to year 1972 CE.

SOURCE: a public lecture by Rabbi Lazer Brody of Breslov

Mr. Cohen

Rabbi Yehudah Sadkah once invited a student to his home for an examination.

When the boy arrived, the Rabbi said that he and the boy should go to a nearby empty synagogue.

When his family asked him why he needed to leave the house, he explained that the boy might fail the test, so it was better to conduct the test where other people would not witness his embarrassment.

CHRONOLOGY: Rabbi Yehudah Sadkah was a prominent Sephardic Orthodox Rabbi who lived from 1908 CE to 1991 CE.

SOURCE: Aram Soba Foundation Newsletter, 2013 December 7

Mr. Cohen

PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

www dot TheLawFareProject dot org

Mr. Cohen

Sefer HaMidot, chapter mamon [money], paragraph 66:
When a man fails to judge others favorably, his wealth is decreased.

CHRONOLOGY 1: Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was born in 1772 CE and died 1810 CE.

CHRONOLOGY 2: Rabbi Nathan Stranhertz transcribed Sefer HaMidot from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov from 1803 CE to 1806 CE. It was printed for the first time in Mahlov (Ukraine) in 1811 CE, the year Rabbi Nachman died.


Okay, when my son asks me, "Dad, can you give the funds to move to the East Coast, so I can live amongst and study with and be taught by Jews, who can instruct me in Derech Ha-Shem?" -- I'll be sure to tell him, "No. This is not good for you right now."

When my son cries out, "Please, Dad! I'm drowning in goyishkeit here! I can't stand living around all these Xtians! I have no friends here! The people here pay lip service in supporting the Jewish State, but they loathe Torah-observant Jews! Please, please, give me the means and wherewithal to move to Monsey, where I can surround myself with yiddishkeit!" -- I'll be sure to tell him, "No. This is not good for you right now."

When my son pleads with me, "Please, Dad! I'm begging you! I feel empty here. I'm dying on the inside! There's nothing for me here! I really need your help, so I can go and be around like-minded souls. Please! Please help me!" -- I'll be sure to tell him, "No. This is not good for you right now."

And when my son says, "Why do you keep saying, 'No!' Why won't you help me?" -- I'll be sure and tell him, "Well, son. I've been asking HaKodesh Baruch Hu for the same thing for over 30 years now, but He keeps pulling the rug out from under me each time I take a step toward living amongst Klal Yisrael. Apparently, He doesn't want me to connect myself to the Tzadik of this generation. And when I ask Ha-Shem, 'Abba! Why won't you help me?' -- He replies, 'No. This is not good for you right now.'"

Like father, like son. Isn't that the way it's suppose to go?


So with ALL the decades of effort-- feeding the hungry, and doing ALL the right things--it is still, NO SON..this is not a good time !!!
Go figure that :( 64 years of awaiting the RIGHT time

Oh well, as the Comment above from Steven states-
"-I've been asking HaKodesh Baruch Hu for the same thing for over 30 years now".. // 'and the dream is beginning to pale a bit....
Nothing can be done--so, WE shall await the redemption.
Lastly, my wife told me this morning to write Lazer--- I said what for--I have read all the books of wisdom,.. been humbled beyond most and did more than ten men together to lift humanity over decades of time--I am old and tired.
I as well studied kabalah for a very long time-- been way past the Mesach and returned.
Sadly, The forces above are awaiting the right time and there is nothing to do but watch the next holocaust , war or whatever, come upon humanity... :( :( :(


to Steven,
maybe Hashem says: why you need Funds to go to the East Coast???!!!
If you Really want to live among Jews, show it, pack your bags and go ! (and Hashem will help you)

You don't need much money, only a small place to live, some money for food, a bed and holy books. That's all you need. :-)

to James:
with all those sad smileys the redemption may be far away

:) :) :) :) :) :)


To Hannah, who writes, "You don't need much money, only a small place to live, some money for food, a bed and holy books."

Again, this requires funds and I have ZERO funds, because I've been unemployed for going on ten years now. I don't even have the money to move across the street, let alone to either coast. Like many of the 95M people in the USA who are no longer in the Labor Force, my son and I are living with my retired, elderly Xtian mother; her house, her rules, and she refuses to allow my son and I to engage in Yiddishkeit under her roof. It's either this or we live on the streets. I've amassed a huge personal library of holy books. What am I suppose to do? Live on the streets and schlep twenty shopping carts filled with books? Have you priced "one bedroom, one bath" apartments in Monsey? The cheapest goes for well over $1,300! Who has that kind of money in this economy? I certainly don't! And if no one will hire me here in the economic black hole and cultural wasteland that is the Midwest, who's going to hire me in Monsey? I know.... I know.... Take it to the field and pray for six hours on the matter each and every day. Been there. Been doing that. Like the article says, sometimes, the answer is "No!" :*(


Steven, you did one round of six hours of personal prayer and you expect your entire life situation to change? It usually doesn't work like that. Rebbe Nachman says if you don't get what you're praying for, either it's not good for you, or you haven't prayed enough. If you're praying to move to Monsey, why not pray to make aliyah instead? Who knows? Maybe this is what Hashem wants from you. Maybe if you move to Monsey, you'll be so comfortable there that aliyah will feel impossible. This happens to many Jews. If you really want to change your situation, do at least 30 minutes of praying and thanking Hashem every day. You need to read The Garden of Gratitude. It will teach you the proper way to pray.


OK, Steven, maybe it's a NO! at the moment.
But with a happy smiley, not with a sad one.

Maybe you need to stay close to your mother for a while and take of her, even she is not supportive at all...
or it's not Monsey you should go to, but Israel, like Racheli said

or it's an other reason,
but its' all for the best


@ RACHELI, who writes, "Steven, you did one round of six hours of personal prayer and you expect your entire life situation to change?"

One round? Who said anything about one round? I said, "Take it to the field and pray for six hours on the matter each and every day." I'm constantly praying to Ha-Shem all throughout the day, since I have little else to do. When I was employed, I spent most of the night-shift praying. I've been praying for the same thing for over thirty years now. And, yes, I thank Ha-Shem for the things He's blessed me with.


@Hannah - I know.... Gam zu l'tovah.... If I don't have the funds to move across the street, then I obviously don't have the funds to move to Monsey, and I certainly don't have the means or wherewithal to move to Israel. Is there another Breslov community in the USA? No that it matters, because moving always seems to be a money issue. Honestly, I don't see the point of Ha-Shem keeping me or anyone else in poverty, but ... His ways aren't my ways, etc. Ha-Shem knows I'll never be happy living in the Midwest. There's a reason they call them the "fly over States." Anyway, it doesn't matter. Thanks for the response.


Steven, as you wrote, "Ha-Shem knows I'll never be happy living in the Midwest." That's exactly the problem. You need to read this.


Steven, I can only speak for myself and my own experience. Although, Judaism teaches that prayer is very powerful and can bring salvations for all sorts of troubles, I try not to pray too much for materially different outcomes, I.e.-money, job, location, etc.
I find that every time I start praying for things how I think they should be, my yetzer raises up my expectations and I end up resenting Hashem that he hasn't answered me yet.
The Torah says "I will grant favor to Whom I grant favor and I will have Mercy on Whom I have Mercy."
For me, my attitude in prayer is much more about accepting Hashem's will for me. I Thank Him for the blessings in my life and I thank Him for the things that aren't the way I'd like. I beg Him for Emuna to accept that everything in my life is for the best, especially those things that aren't the way I want them.
Thanking Him is about coming to acceptance of His will, not about that if I say the right thing, I'll manipulate Him into doing my will. That has never worked for me.
But I have found that with prayer, when I'm able to let go and accept His will for me, I'm okay. And many of my past tribulations have then worked out in the end, for the very best.
I pray you find peace of mind and acceptance of your situation as His will and for your very best, especially when you can't understand the how or whys of it.


Pinney, can you make an article out of this? You have such a great point! (BTW, is this Pinney Wolman? If not, oops!)


Sorry, but the comparison of God to a parent is very flawed.

As a parent, if my 5 year-old asks for too much candy, I'll say "Sorry sweetie, but no. This isn't good you". He'll probably throw a tantrum anyhow, but at least I answered him - albeit it's not the answer he was looking for.

In comparison, when God doesn't answer a prayer, we don't get a "No" answer. We get silence.

If He gave us a "No", at least we'd understand that our Tefilah was accepted, but the request denied. But silence leaves us (or at least me...) wondering was my Tefilah even heard?


Kalman, Isn't that were Emunah kicks in? If Hashem wouldn't be hidden from us we wouldn't have to believe, we would just know.


The answer may also be "not now."

POP 2017

Steven I am so sorry for your pain. I myself have been praying for 7 plus years for one specific thing. The "silence"from Hashem as Kalman wrote just breaks my heart. I am so tired of every Rav and Rebbetzin coming up with different reasons now as to why our prayers havent been answered. You need to pray harder....
If you really wanted it....
If you really believed....
If you did one hour hidbodedut.....
If you went to the field and did 6 hours.....
Blah Blah Blah
Steven need to search in your heart and believe in yourself!!!!!
You need to be like Nachshon ben Amminadab and jump into the sea!!!
Where there is a will there is a way!!
If you really believe in Hashem then you know that he is always with you!
Go to Monsey! How do you know miracles wont happen. You are basing everything on logic. And we are above logic!!! How do you know Hashem doesnt want you to take the first step???
I hope Hashem heals your heart very soon!



Yes. I suppose that this is the point where Emunah _should_ kick in. It's heartbreaking for me to admit, but the truth is that my Emunah has eroded considerably over the last few years. Ironically, the main thing I've been Davening for is for Him to restore my Emunah -- but so far it's been complete silence.

That's the kicker: The silent treatment is way more painful than having your request denied. No is an answer. Silence is no answer at all. What am I supposed to do? Keep asking? Stop asking? Change something I'm doing? Don't change something I'm doing?


All you have to do is be happy with your lot now. Things maybe will or won't change with emunah and personal prayer. The only thing that is in our hands is to be happy and thankful to God for what he gives us today.

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