Effort by Samantha Clague

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In last week’s Torah portion, Shemos, we learn that Pharaoh orders midwives Yocheved and Miriam to kill the male children. He makes this decree to insure that the astrologers prediction of a Jewish savior does not come to fruition. Rather than follow the orders of the king, these courageous women did the opposite. They spoke gently and lovingly to the newborn children, and provided exceptional care insure their health. The midwives then lied to  Pharoah and explained to him that they were acting in this manner to engender trust which would allow the midwives to carry out Pharoah’s orders. Had Pharoah found out the truth their lives would have been forfeit. The Ohr HaChaim comments on these actions and states that when Hashem sees that a person is willing to make the effort, make a sacrifice then Hashem enables them to succeed.  This concept is ever so evident in this Parsha. Yocheved gives birth to Moshe, and puts him in a waterproof basket in the Nile.  No thinking person could imagine that an infant could survive the Nile in a basket. Why make it waterproof?  Why make, what appears to be, a vain attempt at saving Moshe’s life? Moments later the daughter of Pharoah sees the basket and reaches for it but the basket is too far away to reach.  She reaches anyway, despite the impossible distance, and her arms miraculously grow allowing her to save Moshe.   Through these examples we can understand what the Ohr Hachaim is teaching us.  If we do not try then nothing will occur…  However, if we do make the effort Hashem performs miracles!  He protects us from evil kings,  saves our children, or make our arms longer. 

In our daily lives it is so easy to be defeated before we even start because a goal seems impossible, a situation too difficult.  However, if we make even the smallest of efforts Hashem will help us.  Take a moment to “lift a finger” today and you just may end up with a miracle at your fingertips. Have a wonderful week full of effort, miracles, and success!

Samantha Clague