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The Systems of the Jewish Year

You Go First!

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

G-d said, “…And also I heard the cries of the Children of Israel as they are slaves in Egypt; and I will remember My covenant.”

G-d also heard! Who else is important? Who else can listen and answer our cries except G-d? Who else should hear our prayers?

The answer is - that we should hear the cries of Israel. When we listen, hear and react to the cries of our fellow Jews, “Also G-d hears our prayers”. If we don’t listen we can’t know for sure that G-d does.

This is the way it works. When G-d created man it was not to be an end user in the Creation - man was created to be the earthly agents of G-d in Heaven.

“There is no difference between Man and Angels; except Man has freedom of choice.” (Ramchal)

Just as Angels in Heaven enact the word of G-d, so do we. One of our jobs in this world is to react to the pain of another Jew in a G-dly fasion. When we do so we trigger a celestial reaction. When Man reacts, G-d says, “and I also heard the pain and the crying of the Bnei Yisroel.”

In the early 1800’s a man in Pressburg approached the Chasam Sofer in tears. He had lost his business and was struggling to feed his family. He came to seek the holy Chasm Sofer’s blessing.

The great Rabbi looked at him and asked: “Don’t you also have a brother that is struggling to keep his family alive? Why don’t you help him?”

The puzzled man answered: “Indeed I do! And he is on top of my list to help as soon as the Rabbi’s blessing takes hold.”

The Chasm Sofer responded: “My brother, it doesn’t work that way. When you hear and act on the crying of your brother - only then ‘will G-d also hear your suffering and pain’.”

“Go quick and help your brother so that G-d will immediately help you!”

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