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Why do I owe G-d anything if He didn't give me a good life?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus


Library » Mitzvot » Should I do them? | Subscribe | What is RSS?


I will answer you with a parable:

There was once a couple that lived in a small town. The wife was blind and the husband deaf. One day a miracle worker came to town and offered to cure them of their handicaps for a monthly fee. It did not take them long to take him up on it and indeed they were cured—the man heard, the woman saw. They were truly elated.

But that’s when their marriage began to suffer. For the woman could now see that her husband was a complete slob and the man could now hear all the vitriol and sarcasm of the woman he had married twenty years prior.

When the miracle worker came to town to collect his fee, the couple shouted and threw things at him. Tomatoes, eggshells—you name it. You want us to pay you?! Are you kidding?! You should pay us! Do you know what kind of suffering you have imposed upon us? You destroyed a perfectly working marriage! Get out of this town, you snake!

The miracle worker replied calmly: If that is how you feel, then I shall give you another potion—free of charge—that will return you to your original state. How ‘bout that?

The couple suddenly became very silent. They knew not what to say. They stuttered for a minute and finally formulated their thoughts.

Our marriage, we can work out, said the previously blind woman, but please don’t put me back into darkness. My wife can go to therapy for her anger, said the previously deaf man, but please don’t put me back into silence.

They went back to their mattress to retrieve the funds with which to pay the monthly fee.


Is life perfect? No. You think G-d has given you a bad deal? I hear you. But overall, I think you would agree that life is a good thing. That the troubles we encounter can be overcome.

It’s only right that we acknowledge our Benefactor.


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It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.