Simcha's Torah Stories - Toldos

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Parshas Toldos


Okay Chaim, let's go over your multiplication tables.

Great, Dad.

Four times three?


Five times seven?

Thirty five.

Nine times six?

Fifty two.

Chaim, try again.

Oh, Dad. I'm so frustrated! I'm having such trouble with those nines. I'm never going to master these multiplication tables!

Chaim, let me tell you a true story about frustration. You know that in the old days, people did not have water faucets in their homes.

Sure, Dad. People used to go to the well to get water.

Chaim, people even had to dig their own wells. That was very hard work, digging down deep for water. There were no power tools. Avraham Avinu, our Abraham, dug many water wells. Unfortunately, when he left the land, the Philistines took over and stopped up all of the wells. Yitzchak Avinu, our father Isaac, returned to the land and reopened the wells that Avraham had dug. Then he dug more wells. The local shepherds claimed the water was theirs and began to fight with Yitzchak's shepherds over the wells. Yitzchak left those wells and dug a new well. There was a fight over that well also and Yitzchak again moved on and dug a new well. Finally, this well was not contested. He called this last well Rechovot.

Wow, Dad, Yitzchak Avinu sure had to dig a lot of wells.

That's correct Chaim. The great sage, Rav Yisrael Meyer Kagan, who is known to us as the Chafetz Chaim, learns an important lesson from this episode.

What's that Dad?

A person does not always succeed the first time he tries something. He should not get frustrated and give up. We see how many times our father Yitzchak had to dig well after well after well, until he finally dug one that was not contested. He could have given up many times. But he did not. He kept plugging. We have many challenges in our lives. We may not succeed the first time. Nor the second time. Nor the third time. That is no reason to give up. The Chafetz Chaim encourages us to keep plugging. Try, and try again until we succeed.

Thanks so much Dad. That was great.

Okay, Chaim. How much is nine time six?

Fifty four.

Right! Chaim, you're a real plugger.

Simcha's Quiz

Which year of the twentieth century reads the same if you turn it upside down?

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