Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Bonus Post on Parshas Va'era

While driving in my car today, I heard a great vort and story from Rabbi Eli Mansour (available on which I just had to share. I have attempted to reproduce the vort to the best of my ability. As always, any inconsistencies are my fault and should not be attributed to R' Mansour.

After the plagues in Egypt, Hashem comes to the Jews and tells them I am G-d who took you out of Egypt. Hashem does not tell them, I am G-d who created the world, since they had not seen creation. Instead Hashem tells them, I am G-d who took you out of Egypt - something that they could relate to.

R' Mansour told a story about a prince in a town in Europe called Michelstadt who interacted with a Jewish boy more than 300 years ago.

The prince had heard that there was a brilliant Jewish eight year old boy. The prince decided that he wanted to test the boy to see if he truly was as intelligent as he had heard.

In order to test the boy, the prince invited him to come to the castle to see the prince at 4 PM. Before the boy was to arrive, the prince told his assistants that the prince was going to seclude himself in one of the rooms of the castle and that no one should tell the boy which room the prince was in. The prince then went up into one of the rooms and opened the blinds slightly so that he could see the courtyard.

At 4 PM, the boy arrived at the castle. He stood in the courtyard and looked around for a few minutes. Five minutes later the boy knocked on the correct door. The prince was amazed, he asked - how did you find me?

The boy answered that when he arrived, he saw that there was no one in the courtyard, so he figured that the prince must have been testing him. The boy explained that he then looked up and saw that all the rooms had blinds which were closed, except for the room that he thought that the prince was in.

The prince then asked - what would have happened if the blinds were closed? The boy responded - I would have knocked on the doors until you answered.

The prince asked - but what if no one answered? The boy responded that he would have asked people in the lobby. The prince fired back - what if you got different answers? The boy responded - I would have gone with the majority.

The prince had the answer he was looking for - but you are Jewish and most of the world is not, if you go with the majority why do you remain Jewish?

The boy smiled and answered - once I saw you in this room, I would not need to ask people where you were and go with the majority of the answers, because I already knew where you were.

The boy concluded - Hashem revealed himself to the Jews as having taken them out of Egypt and performing many miracles for them. Once we knew who He was, why would we trust the majority against something that was a sure thing?

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