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Invested Tears - Parshas Tazria 5769

Posted by Yosef Tropper
April 23, 2009 - ל' ניסן ה' תשס"ט
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אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר… (יב:ב).

“When a woman gives birth…” (12:2).

The Midrash Tanchuma paints a vivid picture of a woman in labor. “She screams one hundred shouts, the first ninety-nine are screams of death; the final yell connotes a new life that has just begun!” A question worth pondering, as I’m sure many have wondered, is the following. Why is birth proceeded by such a torturous process? I know that the following suggested thought can be taken two ways. For those who never thought about this (ie: men), it might not mean anything, and for women who experienced it, I may not do justice, but nevertheless, it is a Torah idea and thus worth sharing!

The rule of the world is that all valuable things are expensive. You cannot buy a real and precious diamond without paying a small fortune! If someone offers to sell one to you for an unbelievably low price, it must be a scam! Even if one steals a diamond, that pleasure must be paid for in the end when he gets caught and sits in jail! The way of the world is that anything worthwhile must be paid for.

A doctor will devise for someone a balanced diet and exercise regiment. One with foresight will heed to the suggestions and thereby maintain his health. The fool, on the other hand, will neglect his health and only recognize its importance when his body deteriorates and sickens, forcing him to change his habits. The formula is simple. Everything costs money. You can either pay before hand, by putting in the money or effort required, or one will suffer the unpleasant consequences of paying later!

R’ Shimshon Pincus zt”l teaches a beautiful lesson from the following story. The Russian government had placed high restrictions against performing business across their border. Some men got together to devise a plan on how to smuggle out expensive diamonds to make a huge profit. They brilliantly designed an infallible scheme by which to accomplish their directive. They would fill a genuine coffin with their goods and pretend to be a procession exiting the city to bury their dead. The government was happy to allow coffins to leave their sacred soil. The plan worked many times, until their show started to wane. As they were exiting the city, they were so proud of themselves and their ingenuously dubious scheme, that they tried to contain their laughter but to no avail. Immediately the guards saw that something was wrong. “Open the box now!” came the order. “Please,” they begged, “do not desecrate the honor of our dead, let us continue the funeral undisturbed!” “Liars!” the guard screamed as he ripped open the box to reveal their illegal activity. They just stood there pale-faced knowing the Siberia punishment that awaited them. The guard turned to them and made his biting remark, “if you would have been crying before, then you would be laughing now! You fools reversed the order!”

The message of the story is clear and strong. We can daven and cry to Hashem before problems arise (or worsen) and be happy in the undisturbed future, or we could wait for trouble to plague us and only then begin to pray!            The Gemara in Berachos (54a) tells us that, “one should thank Hashem for the past and beg His mercy to help him in the future!” Chazal also teach us, “one should always precede the troubles with prayer” (Sanhedrin 44b).

When a child is in the process of being created, Hashem gives the parents an opportunity to invest oceans of tears and prayers, to carry the child through life! One can then saturate their child with requests to Hashem for health, guidance and inspiration that will carry the child throughout his life and all of its challenges! “Those who plant with tears, will reap in happiness!” When one calls out to Hashem in true pain, this call can be channeled into the strongest type of prayer as it is so deeply and emotionally charged! Hashem gives the baby’s caretakers thousands of opportunities for preemptive prayers that will carry the child for a lifetime! This may be one idea behind the trying event ordeal and pains of pregnancy and labor. May we use all of our situations for growth and prayer!

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