Simcha's Torah Stories - Va'era
LEARN THE LESSON
Chaim, make sure that you do your homework before going outside to play.
A short time later, Chaim goes outside to play.
Chaim, that is wonderful! You did your homework so quickly!
Uh, not exactly Mom.
Are you almost finished?
Well . . .
Chaim, don't tell me that you haven't done any homework yet.
Umm . . .
Okay Chaim, I see that this problem is not going away so easily. I am afraid that I am going to have to punish you. First, I am warning you. The next time that you go out to play before doing your homework, you will not be allowed to go out the entire afternoon.
Chaim thinks to himself, "Would Mom really do that to me? I doubt it. I don't think that I have to worry about it."
The next day.
Mom, I'm going outside to play.
Chaim, did you finish your homework?
Oh, I'm sorry Mom. I will do it when I come back. The boys are just starting a ball game now and I don't want to be late.
Chaim, I am afraid that you won't be going to that ball game.
But Mom, I have to go to the ball game. The guys are all expecting me to be there.
Chaim, do you remember what I told you yesterday about doing your homework before you go out to play?
Now I remember Mom. I'm sorry that I forgot. Will you let me go out to play now?
I'm sorry Chaim but apologizing is not enough. I told you that you must do your homework before going out or you will be punished. Now I must keep my word. You cannot go outside the whole afternoon.
Please, Mom. Let me go out. I will do all of my homework first. I won't ever go out to play before doing homework.
Chaim let me tell you a story. I am sure that you will recognize it. There was once an evil king named Paroh. He treated the Jewish people very badly. He enslaved them, putting them to work with cruel, hard labor. He tortured them, killed them, and tried to demoralize them in every way. G-d sent Moshe Rabbeinu, our teacher Moses, to take the Jewish people out of slavery. Moshe delivered a message from G-d to Paroh, "Let my people go." Paroh was warned, "If you do not let the Jewish people go, you will be punished with plagues." He did not listen, and so, the plagues came. They were terrible.
I know what the plagues were Mom. Blood, frogs, lice, wild animals . . .
Very good, Chaim. Let's take the plague of frogs. There were so many of them in Egypt, and they were croaking so loud that you could not hear yourself think. Paroh told Moshe to take away the frogs and he would let the Jewish people go. What do you think happened Chaim?
Moshe got rid of the frogs and Paroh did not send out the Jewish people.
Right. The same thing happened during the plague of wild animals. In the midst of the plague, Paroh was so terrorized by the animals that he promised to send the Jews out. As soon as the plague stopped . . .
He forgot all about it.
Right, Chaim. The plague was a punishment sent to him by G-d to teach him a lesson. While he was being punished, he said that he had learned his lesson. After the punishment was over, he went right back to his old ways. He did not learn his lesson. Therefore, G-d had to keep punishing him.
I understand Mom.
Believe me, Chaim, I do not like punishing you. However, you need to learn a lesson about homework. Now, if you correct the problem and always do your homework before you go out to play, there will be no need for me to punish you again.
Mom, I must tell you something and I know that it sounds corny.
Go ahead Chaim.
Thank you very much for loving and caring about me enough to punish me. If you did not love me, you would just let me do whatever I want. I am going to learn the lesson from the punishment and always do my homework first.
Chaim, you have taught me a lesson about how wonderful and appreciative a son can be.
Mom, I guess we have both learned the lesson.
Devora can walk at 2 miles per hour going up a mountain. Going down the same trail, she can walk at 6 miles per hour. If she spends no time at the top, what will be Devora's average speed for the whole hike?
Answer to Last Week's Question
Pronounced as one letter,
And written with three,
Two letters there are,
And two only in me.
I'm double, I'm single,
I'm black blue and gray,
I'm read from both ends,
And the same either way.
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