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Moses appointed twelve emissaries to scout out the Holy Land and return with a report. The representative for the tribe of Ephraim was Moses’ primary disciple, Joshua. Until this time, the lad’s name was Oshua. But Moses added a letter to his name and called him Joshua.
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Home » Chukat

Chukat: The Poor Man’s Prayer

Submitted by on June 23, 2006 – 5:33 amNo Comment | 2,371 views

He Loves them Anyway

There was a shortage of water in the Jewish camp. They assembled before Moses and disrespectfully demanded water. They grumbled and complained that Moses should not have taken them from Egypt if he couldn’t provide for them in the desert.

The Malbim points out that the word “Vayikhalu,” Hebrew for “they assembled” indicates a disorganized assembly in which the young present themselves ahead of the elders. Indeed the young ones did not have the patience to wait for a miracle nor did they have the experience of age, they simply needed water and demanded instant satisfaction.

How did G-d respond? Did the disrespect and lack of faith anger him? No, he heard the need and simply instructed Moses to provide water for the people.

When we are lacking we must approach G-d with respect. We must take an accounting in our soul to determine if we deserve what we are asking for. But in the final analysis a Jew must remember that we are G-d’s children, veritable princes and princesses. And what a prince requires, a prince deserves. When we remind G-d of our relationship, of our mutual love, of our bond and covenant, we can expect Him to respond.

Better to Ask than Demand

Despite the lesson contained in this week’s Parsha this is not the first option for Jewish conduct. The best format is to throw ourselves upon his mercy. It is good to take an accounting within our soul to determine if merit what we ask for. It is good to repent for the faults we find within and to further strengthen our strong points. But in the end it is best to ask as a poor man at the door begging for a kindness from G-d.

This is the kind of prayer that G-d finds most pleasing and hopefully impossible to resist.

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