Simcha's Torah Stories - Vayakhel/Pekudei

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Simcha's Torah Stories

Parshat Vayakhel/Pekudei


"Chaim, do you want to help me do a few home repairs?"

"Sure, Dad. What are you fixing today?"

"I am hanging this fixture. First I must drill a hole in the wall."

"Wow, that power drill looks powerful, Dad."

"It is, Chaim. Here we go."

Chaim's father begins drilling. Suddenly, the drill bit breaks, and the drill goes crashing into his hand.


"Dad, are you okay?"

"My had really hurts, Chaim. Look, it is bleeding. I'm going to wash it off."

"Oy vey, Dad. I feel so bad for you. Why did that drill break so suddenly? Was it old?"

"No, Chaim. It was almost new, as a matter of fact. Usually, I buy brand-name tools from a company with a good name. This time I bought a cheap drill. I got what I paid for. In the future, I will stick with the products with a good name."

"Refuah Shelayma (have a complete recovery) Dad."

Chaim's father washes and bandages his hand. Although he takes care of it, it becomes infected.

"Chaim, do you want to come with me to the doctor?"

"What's the matter Dad?"

"Do you remember when I hurt my hand drilling the hole a few days ago?"

"Sure Dad."

"It has become infected, so I am going to the doctor."

"Okay, Dad. Let's go.

Chaim and his father get in the car and begin driving.

"Which doctor are you going to see, Dad?"

"Doctor Lebowitz."

"Isn't his office on the other side of town?"

"Yes it is, Chaim."

"Dad, aren't there doctor's offices a few blocks away?"

"Yes there are, Chaim."

"Why do you want to drive across town, when you can see a doctor around the corner?"

"Because Dr. Lebowitz has a good name. It is worthwhile driving across town to see him."

"A good name. That is the same thing that you said about the tool company that made the drill. You only want to buy from a company with a good name. You only want to see a doctor with a good name. Dad, why is a good name so important?"

"Chaim, that is an excellent question. Before we answer that, let us ask ourselves a more basic question. What is a good name?"

"A person with a good name has a good reputation."

"Very good, Chaim. What did he do to earn that good reputation?"

"Good things."

"Excellent, Chaim. That is exactly how the Torah defines a good name."

"Where does the Torah speak about a good name, Dad?"

"It is actually a Medrash on this week's parsha, Chaim. 'G-d proclaimed the name of Betzalel ben Uri ben Chur of the tribe of Yehuda.' (Shemos 35:30). This proclamation publicized his name."

"Why did G-d do that?"

"The Medrash explains that Betzalel had a good name."

"So, we come back to the original question, Dad. What is a good name, and how does a person earn it?"

"Chaim, a person's name, or reputation comes from his deeds. What you do becomes known and becomes associated with your name. If you do good deeds such as helping people, excelling in Torah study, controlling your desire to become angry, you earn a good name. Bad deeds will earn a person a bad name. In the daily prayers we say, 'You are Holy, and Your Name is Holy' (Silent Amida, third blessing). 'Your Name' refers to G-d's Name which is Holy due to His deeds."

"I understand."

"There is more, Chaim. The Medrash goes on to explain that a good name is a very valuable possession, more precious than fine oil. A good name travels all over the world."

"Even in those days, Dad?"

"The Medrash speaks about King David having a good name which was known worldwide. A good name travels even faster and farther in our days of international telecommunications. Good oil can spoil, but a good name will last forever, even after a person passes away."

"Wow. It is really important to earn a good name."

"Exactly, Chaim. We are going to this doctor because he has a good name. He has earned a reputation over many years of practice."

"Dad, I want to have a good name."

"Chaim, that is wonderful! I am so proud of you. You are already on the way."

"What do you mean, Dad?"

"Realizing the value of a good name, and wanting to acquire one is the first and hardest step. You have already done that. Now, you must keep this goal in mind. When you are faced with a decision, always remember that you want to earn a good name. Then you will make the right choice. You will be honest, hard working, kind, trustworthy, and all of the other things associated with a good name. Look, as we are talking, we have reached the doctor's office."

"What does it say on the door, Dad?"

"Dr. Lebowitz."

"Now that's a good name."

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