Family Parsha Parshat Bechukotai: Dont Worry Be Happy
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Bechukotai(Leviticus 26:3-27:34)

Dont Worry Be Happy


'Don't worry, be happy!' is the Torah way of living. In this week's Torah portion (25:19) God assures us that He's always watching over us, and even when things look tough, we don't have to be afraid. Once we realize that God is like a loving, caring parent to us, we will truly be happy -- and not worry.

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In our story, a kid discovers there's nothing to worry about.

LOST AND FOUND

Jon could hear his heart pounding even over the blaring loudspeaker music as he looked out into the crowded fairgrounds. While most people around him were smiling and having fun, he was panicking, because even though he was just with them, now his family was nowhere in sight!

Meanwhile...

"Will you look at that slowpoke!" huffed Maya, pointing at Jon, standing 20 feet behind them down the fairground lane. "Dad, it's not fair. We all want to go on to the next exhibit and Jon's holding us up. Can't we just move on?"

"You know, Maya, your brother just moves at a different pace than you do," her father said. "You know the rule. Mom and I have to be able to keep our eyes on all of you at once. But, I agree, it is about time to move on... Jon!" he called out, waving at the boy who was looking in their direction, "Come on, it's time to move on."

"Jon! If you don't come right this minute, I'm eating your whole cotton candy!" Maya added, certain that would get her brother chugging their way faster than a bullet train. But it didn't.

What should I do? Jon thought, nervously. Maybe my family is already on the other side of the park! Maybe they've forgotten all about me and left for home! He turned, looking this way and that.

"Hey, why did Jon just turn around the other way?" little Amy asked. "Doesn't he want to come?"

"You know...even though we can see him, I don't think he can see us. And the music must be too loud for him to hear us calling him," their father said. After making sure their mom was safely watching Amy and Maya, he began jogging Jon's way.

This is terrible! This is horrible! I'll be stuck here all my life -- alone! Jon shuddered.

The music was playing on the loudspeaker, "Don't worry--be happy!" the song was singing. Though Jon was way too scared to be paying much attention to tunes, the words did remind him of something his dad had once said to him: "When God is watching you, there's nothing to worry about. And since He's always watching you, you never have to worry." 'Never have to worry'... Maybe it was true...Maybe he really wasn't alone?

Still feeling tense, but a lot calmer than a moment ago, Jon realized his parents were certainly trying to find him and the best thing to do was to wait where he was and...

"Jonathan!"

The boy turned to see his father's concerned but happy face.

"Didn't you hear us calling you?"

The relieved boy shook his head.

"And you didn't see us waving?"

"Uh, uh. I just saw a lot of people."

"We were so close by, I was sure you could still see us," his dad said softly, putting his comforting hand on his son's shoulder. "I hope at least you weren't too worried and realized you were being watched?"

"Sure." The boy nodded and happily taking his father's hand. Why did he have to worry, when he was being watched by them -- and by God.

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Ages 3-5

Q. How did Jon feel at first?
A. He was very scared and worried.

Q. How did he feel in the end?
A. He felt calm and knew that God, and his parents were taking good care of him.

Ages 6-9

Q. What life-lesson do you think Jon learned that day?
A. When he first lost sight of his parents at the fairground, he panicked. But he came to realize that God was watching over him and he didn't have to let his worries get the best of him.

Q. Is their ever a good reason to be worried?
A. Sometimes, we can hear about or even be in situations that are difficult and in such cases, it's normal to feel tense and concerned. But even then, we can realize that worrying doesn't help us in any way and remember that God is still with us and taking care of us.

Have you ever felt that God was watching and taking care of you? If so, write and tell us about it.

Ages 10 and Up

Q. Does worrying ever solve anything?
A. Not only doesn't it ever solve anything, but it causes many problems of its own. It can negatively affect a person's health and make it hard to think clearly, which is essential for effective problem solving'

Q. What is the difference if any between 'worry' and 'concern'?
A. Although the words are similar, they are worlds apart. Worry is just an ineffective waste of emotional energy--feeling anxious but unfocused on finding solutions. Concern is recognizing that a situation might be difficult and mobilizing ones inner and outer resources to handle it in the most effective way.

Have you ever felt that God was watching and taking care of you? If so, write and tell us about it.

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Published: May 9, 2009

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