When You Need Help
By Larry Fine
Israel is at a time of need. It is constantly being attacked by its enemies. Its friends in the international community seem to wavier. We need help, help from above. How can we insure that G-d will help us in our time of need?
Our situation can be understood through a story of a man who had two sons. When his first son reached the age of marriage, the father took him aside and told him that he could no longer afford to support him when he married and needed a home to start his new family. He instructed him to go out and get a job in order to support his new wife and pay their bills.
The son took the father's advice and went out into the world and began engaging in business. He was very successful and in a few years he amassed a great fortune.
As time passed, the second son also wanted to get married and start a family. Similarly, the father told him that he must go out into the world since he, the father, could not bear the financial burdens of the younger son and his new wife. So this son too when out into the world to seek his fortune.
Unfortunately, the younger son did not fare well. Every business that he tried his hand in seemed to fail. He was unable to provide well for his wife and as his family grew he became saddled with debts. He decided to approach his older brother with the hope that perhaps he would find him a decent job in his lucrative business.
He went to his brother's impressive corporate headquarters, a large building located in an exclusive neighborhood. He took the elevator up to the top floor of the building where the executive offices were located.
When he came in to the office the secretary asked him what it is that he wanted. He told her that he wanted to see the owner of the company.
The secretary was aghast. "You can't just walk in, you must have an appointment."
"But he is my brother," he protested. "Please tell him that I need an urgent favor."
The secretary returned to the office of the brother, but returned saying that the company president said that he had no brother.
The brother was stunned. How could that be? He thought that perhaps his brother has been working too hard so he wrote down his name on a piece of paper and gave it to the secretary instructing her to take it in to him. She returned shortly shaking her head that the firm's owner does not know anything about him.
The brother tried once again. He wrote down on a piece of paper some details about their family life, where they had lived, the name of the father, etc, and asked the secretary to give it to the older brother. Shortly the secretary returned and told the man that the owner asked that he leave and not bother him. He had declared to her that he has no brother and that he is too busy to be bothered with more of this nonsense. The younger brother left in disbelief.
Years passed and the younger brother struggled unsuccessfully to make ends meet as he watched his family and debt grow. Then the father took ill. Realizing that he did not have much time left in this world, he called to his two sons to come that he may bid them farewell.
They both came quickly. They found him lying in bed in a weakened state, breathing heavily. One brother came on the right side of the bed and the other on the left. The father began speaking his last but he directed his speech only to the younger brother. The older brother imagined that perhaps the father did not know that he was there, so he asked the father why he did not talk to him too.
"Who are you?" the father asked.
"Why I am your older son" he answered in disbelief.
"My older son?" the father asked. "No, I do not have an older son."
"Father, what are you saying? Don't you recognize me?"
"Listen," the father explained, "If my younger son does not have a brother, then how can I have another son?"
* * * * *
We Jews are like family. We can not expect our Father in Heaven to help us if we do not treat our fellow Jews with respect, if we do not try to help them when they need us. We are in a time of trouble and we need G-d's precious help. If we do not help one to another, why would G-d help us?
In order to get G-d's important help during our time of need we must behave with the utmost understanding towards each and every Jew. We are all the sons and daughters to G-d; but we must also act like it too. This is not a time for speech, but a time for action.
from the August 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine