Doing God a Favor

I'm in Jerusalem, doing a special mitzvah.

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Comments (16)

(16) s, August 11, 2008 12:07 PM

Beverly, yes, if it's to save our life, then we can use it.

(15) Sheila Deutsch, June 17, 2008 4:11 PM

The kotel is not wailing.

I truly look forward to your talks. I offer the following with due respect to you and to your knowledge and judgement.

I think that if you think about it for a moment you will refer to the Kotel as the Western Wall or the Kotel.

Thank you


(14) Beverly Kurtin, June 15, 2008 1:04 PM

To live or die?

Rosen, Rosh Chodesh is the new month or head of the month (rosh = head chodesh = month). I had to learn the meaning of that too, so don't feel bad about not knowing, we all have to learn, yes?

Now about favors. Hashem gave me a battery operated wheelchair to us so I do not have a stroke or heart attack. He also provided me with an oxygen concentrator so that I can breath easier. Both of those devices use electricity and I have to use them seven days a week.

What would happen if I said, "Hashem, thank you for giving me those gifts, but I'm not going to use them one day a week because the oral law prohibits kindling a fire and using an oxygen concentrator and using a battery operated wheelchair both use electricity and the oral law says that is the same as creating a fire.

I can see the Creator of the Universe say, "Beverly, my daughter, I gave you those things so you can live and I myself work 24.7.365 to keep the Universe together. If I took off even so much as one fraction of a second off, everything would fly apart and that would be the end of the Universe. So I'm going to deny you the use of gifts I have given to you? I don't think so. I provided those things for you because I love you and I keep the universe together because I love my creation and all I have created. Use, enjoy, I love you."

And I would say, "And I love you too, my Father. I appreciate your gifts and thank you for them too much to let them sit idle because I could die if I don't use them."

Does anyone honestly think that Hashem gives us good things only to deny us the use of them one day out of seven, particularly when they are life saving? Does not Hashem place life above everything else? I believe He does so I will use the good gifts with which has so kindly bestowed upon me and thank Him every day for those wonderful gifts.

(13) Eli, June 12, 2008 5:08 PM

I agree with Hersh

I once heard from Rav Ezriel Tauber shlita that he was working on bringing back a former Bais Yaakov girl to Yiddishkeit.It was Friday night and he understood that she wanted to smoke a cigarette. So he came up with the following response." If Hashem was a smoker and he ran out of cigarettes, and asked you for one, what would you say?" She answered that she would be honored to give Him one. So he continued "Do you know that when you refrain from smoking on Shabbos, you are giving him a gift and he says 'Thank you!'"?
She responded, "but later I'm going to use an electronic key, and other electronic devices, so who am I fooling?" Which he then replied," You can keep giving Hashem candies, and he will really appreciate it".This is called "mischaseid im konoi" and that was the midah of Avrohom Ovinu.
This response and mindset brought her back to Yiddishkeit

(12) Susan, June 12, 2008 2:03 PM

G-d Pours Blessings on the Earth.

Rabbi Salomon, Sometime ago probably here on I read about G-d pouring out blessings for the Earth and for us. I understood that concept exactly at the time I was reading. In order to have room for the Blesings and keep the earth comfortable full, there had to be an emptying of something so there is 'room' for more blessings. Much like a renewal of pouring energy into the earth. We deplete (in a good way) and he renews. I can't remember exactly how this worked, but I think it might have something to do with our performing mizvots, so he can pour the blessings upon us. When he can't give those to us, he doesn't suffer or hurt but we certainly do. We don't receive that
renewal, and fulfillment. I'll try to find the article and read it again. It made so much common sense and was an ah ha moment for me.
Again, thank you for your videos, and have a safe and wonderful trip.

(11) Ronni, June 11, 2008 10:44 PM

For Ourselves

I agree with the Rabbi that G-d does not need our sacrifices. Fighting one's natural laziness improves ourselves. Being kind to others improves ourselves and the world too. What would the world be like with a planet inhabited by self-centered, lazy, unkind people? We would be miserable, not G-d.
To Ed who thought the Wailing Wall is derogatory term, we're not ashamed of our tears and people cry at the Western Wall all the time because we open our hearts and are unashamed of our emotions before our Creator.
Rosh Chodesh is the first day of each Jewish month which is a renewal of sorts and I can't give it a quick explanation so you should ask your orthodox Rabbi about it but mostly it goes by virtually unnoticed which is a terrible shame. I therefore have instituted a custom at home to make my children excited for Rosh Chodesh by allowing them to eat the most junky horrible sugar-laden cereals on Rosh Chodesh while the rest of the month they only can have very healthy nutritious cereal. You should see their faces each month when they say "It's Rosh Chodesh today?!".

(10) Sruli, June 11, 2008 9:52 PM

what a beautiful thought

This could not have come at a better time. I thank you rabbi salomon for your weekly blog. It has expanded my horizons immensely.

(9) Anonymous, June 11, 2008 4:27 PM

It iIS for Him

Neshi is correct. G-d does "need" our mitzvos. I saw this idea in the work Nefesh HaChaim by Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin. There he explains that G-d created the world in such a way that He needs our Torah-learning, our mitzvah-doing, and our prayer.

(8) S, June 11, 2008 1:33 PM

to 6/10 10:15

I think that the reason why Hashem wants us to do the mitzvos is not because He needs it, it's because we need it for our own spiritual well being. However, in regards to like, tzadaka, then you're right, He needs us to help each other in order so we can help His children in this world and make it a better place.

(7) Susan, June 11, 2008 12:56 PM

Sunrise !!!

Rabbi Salomon, thank you for your wonderful topics to think about.

Some mornings I pray out my front door at sunrise. Some mornings I use the Wallcam on at sunrise to pray.

How wonderful that you could be RIGHT THERE at the Wall at sunrise!!

Rabbi Salomom, Truly...could you really have considered NOT getting out of bed in the morning to pray at the wall?
Hope your trip was wonderful and everything you needed it to be.

(6) Ruth Housman, June 11, 2008 12:07 PM

at the WALL

I think God needs us as much as we need God. I am saying this is a collaborative venture. I believe that the word prays is aurally praise and I am thinking we are co-creating the universe and also that we can go to the WALL anywhere, meaning it's symbolic, a metaphor. Of course there's something very special about being in Jerusalem and at The Wailing Wall.

If God is perfect and we are created in that image, then I believe this story is about AWE and that when we do this, we are surely connecting with the Source and paying tribute. I do believe this is a mitzva and that God was lonely and so God created a world. The word lonely itself is very interesting ONE surrounded by two "L"s and isn't "EL" itself the ancient and current word for God, of of the many names.

(5) neshi.rodin, June 10, 2008 10:15 PM

God does need our mitzvos bec. He made it that way

How can we make a difference to a perfect Being? Yes we do mitzvos for our personal refinement- but God also wants and needs our mitzvos- Why and How? Because. He is the only Perfect Being and yet He taught us that He needs - and wants- the Jew to do and be the best we can be....Incomprehensible? Yes.Paradox? Yes. How it is? Also yes.

(4) ED, June 9, 2008 11:49 PM

Wailing wall?

I find it interesting that you use the term "Wailing Wall." I thought that was derogatory....

(3) Rosen, June 8, 2008 1:05 PM

mitzvahs and kindness

It''s important to practice mitzvot and kindness for ourselves and others. Sometimes we''re not even aware that we are doing someone a mitzvot, which may go somewhat unnoticed and taken for granted. For me, since I operate a carousel at a big playground park, I can understand that I am practicing mitzvot (even getting paid for it) by making so many children happy to ride on the horses, and give accecibility to individuals in wheelchairs offering them to be clamped down to the carousel platform with wheelchair clamps.

BTW, what exactly is Rosh Chodesh? I try to be a practicing Jew the best I can be, and am open to learning more about it.

(2) malka, June 8, 2008 11:59 AM

great message

So true, the mitzvos we have are for our own benifit. Just like when parents give rules to their children because it''s what the children need. So too, the mitzvos we have are what we need. This should give us more encoragement to do His will because He only wants what is best for us

(1) hersh, June 8, 2008 10:10 AM

I have to humbly voice a diffrent point that perhaps we are doing hashem a favor to Hashem,for hashem wants to give good to us! and if we give hashem that oppurtunity then i understand that we are yes doing a very big favor although hashem doesnt need it. But i would say that it is a favor to Hashem. Hashem begs us please keep my comadments so that i can give the best good ever!!!


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