Simcha's Torah Stories - Yisro

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Parshas Yisro


Wow, Avi, what's that? It's a gift that I just received from my parents, Chaim. It looks really neat. What is it? An electronic, battery powered, cordless, 1000x magnification microscope. With it, we can see all kinds of microscopic objects, invisible to the naked eye. It's so new, it's still in the box. Let's open it up, Avi. Sure, Chaim. But what's this on the outside of the box? Caution. This is a very delicate instrument. Do not attempt to open or operate this microscope before reading the instructions carefully.

We had better read the instructions first, Chaim, before we open the box. I sure wouldn't want to damage this beautiful new microscope in any way. I've wanted one for a long time. My parents just bought it for me. Until now, they said that I wasn't old enough to have such a delicate instrument.

Of course, Avi, but what's the big deal? We open it up, put the batteries in, and turn it on. Then we can see all kinds of neat things like blades of grass, insects, microbes . . .

But Chaim, what if we press the wrong button, or drip water in the wrong place? We could ruin the whole thing.

I guess you're right Avi. Anytime you are dealing with something complicated, you have to follow the instruction manual to operate it properly. You know, Avi, the Jewish people received the instruction manual in this week's Parsha.

What do you mean, Chaim?

This week is Parshas Yisro. It includes the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.

Great, Chaim. But what does that have to do with an instruction manual?

Avi, you may think that a microscope is complicated and delicate. But it is just a crude instrument compared to a human being. After all, how many parts does that microscope have? 20? 50? 100? Even if it has a thousand parts, the human body has billions and billions of cells, which make up complicated tissues, nerves, muscles, and organs. Scientists and doctors are just beginning to fathom the complexity of the human body. There are a million and one things that can go wrong with the human being. We need to know how to take proper care of ourselves physically. How to eat, sleep exercise, and dress properly, among other things. We surely wouldn't want to damage the wonderful body that we have by not following the instruction manual. However, that is just the physical aspect. There is also the soul, which is a very delicate thing indeed. It has the potential for greatness. We have to know how to nurture it so that we can grow and use all of our skills to their fullest. We all have talents in different areas, and to waste them is really damaging our wonderful gifts. We've got to follow the instruction manual.

Chaim, that's very scary. How can we possibly know what to do? Who can understand the human being well enough to give the proper instructions?

Well, let's see, Avi. Who wrote the instruction manual for this microscope?

That's easy, Chaim. The people who made it. They know how it works.

Who made the human being, Avi? Who knows how it works?

G-d did.

Guess what? He also wrote the instruction manual. It's called the Torah. The Torah is a book written by G-d about man, giving us the instructions we need to live our lives properly. If we follow the instructions written in the Torah, we won't damage the delicate instrument that G-d has given us.

Chaim, you've magnified my view of life 1000 times without even opening the box of this microscope!

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