Simcha's Torah Stories - Shmos
Avi, come! Do you want to go with me to the bank this morning?
Get ready quickly. I have to leave in five minutes.
Okay, Mom. I'm ready to go now. What are we going to do at the bank?
I need to get something from the safe deposit box, Avi.
What is the safe deposit box, Mom?
It is a locked box in the vault of the bank, where people keep very valuable possessions.
I'm excited, Mom. I've never seen a vault or a safe deposit box before.
At the bank . . .
I'm afraid you will have to wait a few minutes ma'am until one of the rooms becomes free.
What room is the man speaking about, Mom?
Each person takes his safe deposit box into a small room, Avi, where he can examine its contents in private. All of the rooms are occupied, so we'll have to wait.
Excuse me sir.
Yes, young man.
Can you tell me why it is so busy here today? Why are none of the rooms free?
Young man, there are certain people who come here every day.
Really? Every day? What do they do?
They take out their safe deposit box and count their money. They have their life's savings in the box, and they come here and count the money every day.
Don't they get bored?
Apparently not. They worked so hard for their money that they became very attached to it. It is their greatest pleasure to count, count, and recount their most prized possession. Look at that. As we are talking, one of the rooms has become free. You may go in ma'am.
On the way home from the bank . . .
Can you imagine that, Mom? People count and recount their money every day.
You know, Avi, this gives you an insight in this week's Torah Portion. The Book of Shemos (Exodus) begins with a listing of the names of the Jews who went down to Egypt. Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki), the brilliant commentator on the Talmud and the Bible, makes an interesting observation. G-d had listed the names of those very same Jews who went down to Egypt only a short time ago at the end of the Book of Bereshis (Genesis 46:8). Why did He list them again here? The answer is that the Jewish people are very dear to Him. We are like His prized possession. Therefore, He enjoys counting us. Similar to the way that the man in the bank enjoys counting his valuables.
Wow, Mom! Who would ever think that you could learn something from a trip to the bank?
Avi, inspiration is everywhere if you look for it. You should know that G-d still loves us as much as He did then. Each and every one of us, including you, are one of His very special prized possessions.
Mom, you always know the right thing to say!
Chani has planted some flowers of three different kinds. Roses, tulips, and daisies. How many flowers do I have if all of them are roses except two, all of them are tulips except two, and all of them are daisies except two?
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