Simcha's Torah Stories - Lech Lecha

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Simcha's Torah Stories

Parshat Lech Lecha


"Avi, can you come out to play now?"

"I just have one more bit of homework to finish, then I can come out."

"You are so conscientious, Avi. You always finish all of your homework before you play."

"I owe my good habits to my parents."

"What homework do you have left to do?"

"We have to read this short essay and write a few comments on it."

"Can I see it?"

"Sure, Chaim."

The two boys begin reading the essay:

One day, at a top-level meeting of a successful corporation.

"Please bring me the test results of the new personnel. I want to see what job each new person is suited for."

"Yes sir, Mr. President, here they are."

"Hmmm. Let's see. Mr. Cohen scored very well in the intelligence test. Let's give him a thinking job. Mr. Schwartz is very good with his hands. He should be working with tools. Mr. Goldberg is very personable. He should have a job dealing with people. Mr. Levy is creative. Give him a job in the Planning Department."

"Sir, why do we take so much time and trouble with these tests?"

"This is the secret of the success of our company. Everyone gets the job for which he is suited. In that way he can use his potential and develop it. The trick is to discover a person's talents and put him in a situation where he is tested. He will excel, which is good for him and good for the company."

"Brilliant, sir, just brilliant."

Chaim smiles at Avi.

"What are you going to write about Avi?"

"I thought I would relate this little essay to the Torah."

"Really? How can you do that?"

"Just think about it a minute, Chaim. The President of the company was not the first person to realize the value of testing a person. G-d Himself tested Avraham Avinu many times. Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman, zt"l, who is known to us as the Ramban explains one of the purposes of G-d's tests. G-d knows a person inside and out. Therefore, He knows whether a person will pass the test or not."

"Then why does G-d test the person?"

"Excellent question, Chaim. The Ramban asks the same question. A person is born with tremendous potential. G-d wants the person to use his potential to do good deeds. The test turns the potential into a deed. G-d gives reward for good deeds. G-d tests us so that we will perform the good deeds and get the reward."

"What you are saying, Avi, is that we are working for the World's Best Boss. He knows us inside and out. He has given us a job perfectly suited for our talents."

"Exactly, Chaim. Sometimes the job is easy, sometimes it is hard. When it gets difficult, we have to remember one thing. Our abilities are greater than we can imagine. G-d wants us to develop to our fullest potential. Therefore, He tests us."

"We just have to pass the test. Then we move up to the next job level."

"That's right, Chaim. You've got it. Before long you will be the president of the company."

"With your help, Avi."

"With G-d's help, Chaim."

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Written by Simcha Groffman
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