Back to Main Page

'Cause I Said So'

By: Mrs. Shelby Binstock

A king calls in his trusted minister and says: "I have an important mission for you to perform. Go to the neighboring kingdom and meet their leaders. But remember one thing - under no circumstances must you remove your shirt during this meeting. Now go and do as I say." The minister sets off on his merry way and soon arrives at the neighboring kingdom. There he heads straight for the palace where he meets with the king. In the midst of their discussion, he sees some of the king's officers pointing and laughing at him. "Why are you laughing?" asks the visiting minister. "Because we've never seen someone with such a pronounced hunchback," they say. "What are you talking about? I'm not a hunchback!" "Of course you are!" "No I'm not!" "We'll bet you one million dollars that you are!" "Fine - I'll gladly take your bet." "Okay, so take off your shirt and prove it." At which point the minister remembers the parting words of the king: "Under no circumstances must you remove your shirt during the meeting." Yet, the minister reasons, a million dollars would certainly bring added wealth to the king's coffers. I know I'm not a hunchback, so I'll surely win the bet. I am certain that under these circumstances the king would approve! The minister removes his shirt and proudly displays his perfect posture. With pride in his achievement, he holds out his hand, into which is placed a check for one million dollars. The minister can barely contain his excitement. He quickly ends the meeting and runs back to give the wonderful news to his king. "I earned you a million dollars!" exclaims the minister. "It was easy. I only had to remove my shirt to prove that I wasn't a hunchback." "You did what?!" shouts the king. "But I told you specifically not to remove your shirt. I trusted that you'd follow instructions, and so I bet the other king $10 million dollars that he couldn't get you to remove your shirt!" 

In this week's parsha, the Torah says: "Do not add to or subtract from the mitzvot." (Devarim 4:2) The Torah is perfect! When we add or subtract from the Torah, we in essence are saying that the Torah is lacking chas vishalom. From this story we can learn that sometimes we think we know better but really we don't. A lot of things we don't understand but it takes our emunah and bitchaon to know that Hashem is running the world and knows best.

Shabbat Shalom




Back to top