Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Shemos

Within a Child’s Reach

By Rabbi Label Lam

Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe by the River and her maidens walked along the River. She saw the basket among the reeds and she sent her maid servant and she took it…She called his name Moshe as she said, “For I drew him from the water.” (Shemos 2:10)

She sent her maid servant: Our sages learn that she stretched out her arm and it became elongated many cubits. (Rashi)

“Why was it that Moshe was not named “Mashui”? which grammatically describes him as having been drawn from the water? Rather she called him Moshe which implies that he drew himself out of the water …that is his own merit caused him to be drawn from the water.” (Midrah HaGadol)

I once heard the question asked, “Why did Basya, the daughter of Pharaoh, bother to send out her hand to grasp something that was out of her reach?” Would we extend our hand to the ketchup if it was at the other end of a long table and it was impossibly far away? Why bother to reach at all for something so far out of reach?

A close friend of mine who moved to Israel years back was having a problem integrating his younger son into school. The boy, we’ll call him Yehudi, was having a hard time finding his place amongst the other students. Either they weren’t welcoming to him or he wasn’t warm to them but the problem lingered and festered. The other children had adapted without much crisis but poor Yehudi began to resent going to school.

The father asked another close friend who has since become a sought after educational consultant what he should do for his son. He was advised to tune into his children’s radio hour that evening with his son Yehudi. On the program Yehudi’s problem was presented to the listening audience and callers were invited to offer Yehudi a solution. The hope was that the boy would identify some clue or suggestion of help while unaware that the discussion was about him.

A strange thing happened. Yehudi himself asked his father if he could call the radio program. He did. He suggested that the boy should bring to school candies and goodies for all the other kids in his class and that might help them accept him more. It sounded like such a good idea that the father actually implemented it and guess what? It worked! Yehudi had found his own solution and he has not looked back since.

When the daughter of Pharaoh sent out her hand it was not to grasp the ketchup or mustard. It was a Jewish child at risk amongst the bull-reeds. Sometimes a person may have to reach impossibly far to help another and the results may prove to be disproportionately favorable if one just stretches as far as they can first. There is another factor here, though. The person has to be a willing participant in being helped, and he may likely be the key-holder to his own salvation.

Someone told me just yesterday that a young boy was brought to Rabbi Mordachai Schwab ztl for misconduct. Rabbi Schwab asked that the boy come back the next day by which time it would be decided what to do with him. When the boy returned, Rabbi Schwab handed him a wrapped up present. The boy was shocked. He asked, “What’s this for?” Rabbi Schwab told him, “This is for all the times that you behaved well.” Reaching that extra distance when it’s a Jewish child amongst the bull-reeds may mean extending a measure of seemingly undeserved tenderness and placing the solution within a child’s reach.


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

The Sign of the Olive
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Making Something of Nothing
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

People In Stone Houses Shouldn
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Noach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

People In Stone Houses Should not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Flooded With Real Ecstasy
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Language Barrier
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Beyond Youth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

ArtScroll

The Perfect Storm
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

The Day Falsehood Married Destruction
Shlomo Katz - 5761

It's All About Redemption Part II
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

> Send The Guinea Pig!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

In Man's Diminished Image
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

The Rainmaker
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Faxs vs. Kidney Stones
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information