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Thought for the Day: Is HaShem Really Stressed Out About All Those Details?! Maybe...

My manager is respectfully curious about my religious beliefs.  There is, of course, the practical reason of being able to schedule around my constraints and having an idea that such and such could be a problem for me.  There is also, though, a friendly curiosity  When I told him about the mezuzah, for example, after hearing that it is parchment with verses from scripture, I wanted to know if one were at liberty to choose the verses he wanted.  "I know what I'd put on the mezuzah for my kids' rooms -- honor your parents and something about the punishment for failure to comply."  I noted that while I sympathize with his motivations; no, we don't get to choose the verses.  In fact, there are many more rules than simply which verses to use.

I then told him there is a joke about an Israeli kid who sees a Christmas tree for the first time and, when told it is an object they use in their religion, he asked, "So how tall does it need to be?  Haow many branches does it need?  How many needles per inch are needed on the branches? etc, etc, etc (I guess the kid had also been to Siam).  At which point my manager asked, "Does G-d really stress out about all that stuff; all those details?"  He then immediately (being a manager and concerned about HR) answered his own question, "Oh; I guess He does."  I told him that we have 613 commandments -- not the 10 he's heard of, those were only headline announcements at Mount Sinai.  We consider the 613 commandments to be 613 channels of opportunity to come close to HaShem.  Therefore, of course, the details are very important to us in order for us to perfect our connection to the Creator.

It's a good answer and it satisfied him.  I have a standing mashal/parable comparing this world to a symphony.  The non-Jews are the audience, the Jewish people are the orchestra; HaShem the author and conductor.  It works.  You can understand from there why the non-Jews only have seven mitzvos; six "don't do"s and one to establish courts of law.  After all, the audience is there to enjoy the show and their only obligation is to not disturb their neighbors (don't smoke, don't talk during the performance, etc).  You can also understand why there are different kinds of Jews with well defined roles -- cohein, leivi, yisrael; man, woman; scholars, business men.  To play a symphony requires brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion.  The violinist can't play the oboe's part; it is only when each is doing what the Creator assigned him in the manner it was assigned that music is produced.  If everyone does what they feel at the moment all you have a cacophonous noise.  Which also explains why the nations of the world get cranky with us when we are not fulfilling our roles as Torah Jews.

There's more to say, but you get the idea.  But I realized there is more.  It isn't just a conductor with an orchestra he put together to play his music.  Banim atem LaShem/you are the children of HaShem!  How would that conductor feel if the orchestra were entirely composed of his children?  And he, the conductor, trained each one according to each's own strengths.  And this is not any symphony -- it is his magnus opum; the culmination of  his life's work.  Their perfection is his perfection, his perfection shines and is elevated only through their rendition of his work.  Any parent knows the depth of the joy and fear of parenthood.

Maybe HaShem does sweat the details; those are His children.  We are His children.


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