On the roof of the Aish center looking down at the Western Wall with Chevra & Davai in 2011

Search This Blog

Friday, February 3, 2012

Parsha Beshalach - Does G-d care?

This past week I was discussing the frustrating bureaucracy of certain government offices with a co-worker. Since the Presidential election is on the mind of most Americans, I started to tell her to make sure she votes. I remembered from past years that this woman does not vote for religious reasons. The form of christianity that she believes in states that the only leader is G-d and that to vote would be anti G-d some how. As this came to mind, I told her to pray to the L-rd that he reforms are government.

As she was walking away she said “I’m pretty sure that G-d doesn’t care about the bureaucracy of our government.”

Her statement really had an impact on me. If she believes that something is “to trivial” for G-d to deal with, she’s saying, in other words, that G-d has a limited amount of focus or energy and only concerns himself with the big stuff, G-d forbid. She’s also saying that G-d only concerns himself with our “big prayers” and doesn’t care about our prayers for things that he deems minor.

Both of these things are the complete opposite of Jewish ideas and basic common sense. An infinite being has an infinite amount of focus and energy. For G-d, splitting the Red Sea takes no more energy then making sure that I have peanut butter sandwich for lunch.

By suggesting that G-d doesn’t want us to pray for the small stuff, she was also implying that our trivial prayers bother the L-rd and essentially, he’s too busy to deal with us. The truth is that G-d wants to hear our prayers and constructed a world in which we not only would pray, but our commanded to pray. Along with praise, our prayers are constructed to deal with the every day topics of health & prosperity. When we encounter situations that are troubling, our reaction should be to pray to G-d for help, no matter how big or small the problem may be.

One could question why G-d waited for the Jewish people to ask for water and food when they entered the desert. The L-rd knows that we were going to get thirsty & hungry. The truth is that G-d wanted to hear our prayers. After we cried out to G-d sincerely, even though we didn’t do it in the best possible manner, he fulfilled our requests.


  1. I'll just keep quoting the same Rambam

    RAMBAN (Deuteronomy 11:13)
    "Thus, whereas the fate of the Jews as a nation is guided by providence, individuals do not enjoy the same providential relationship with the Almighty. Only the righteous and the wicked can expect providential treatment. The fate of more “average” individuals is primarily guided by natural law "

    You wrote: "By suggesting that G-d doesn’t want us to pray for the small stuff, she was also implying that our trivial prayers bother the L-rd and essentially, he’s too busy to deal with us."

    There's no suggestion in the Rambam's statement that you should or should not pray for small stuff. Pray for small stuff, big stuff, national stuff, whatever is important to you. It's just naive to think that when you go to the supermarket and buy the last jar of peanut butter that G-d saved it on the shelf for you so you would not have to forego your sandwich the next day - especially if have not been praying for it. (i.e. there is such a thing as coincidence)

  2. There is certainly such a thing of coincidence, but if G-d wanted to, he could certainly get you a jar of peanut butter.

    The article isn't as much about as does G-d fulfill our every request as does he have the abillity to do so.