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Spare a Prayer

Spare a Prayer

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"A quarter to spare?"

That's interesting, I thought. His refrain up until now had been, "A little help?" I heard it over and over again as I loaded groceries into my car in front of the store. "A little help? A little help..."

He must be getting more desperate.

"A quarter to spare?" I heard again, immediately followed by the sound of a coin dropped into his collection basket. "Thank you, G‑d bless you."

Look at that! I marveled. It worked! Isn't that interesting? Of course, savvy fundraisers practice this principle all the time: people are much more likely to give a donation when they are asked for a specific dollar amount than if it's left up to the potential donor to figure out. And it makes sense. Just think of all the considerations you are faced with on a daily basis: "Maybe you want to open a charge card and receive ten percent off your total purchase today?" "If you buy two, the third one is half off..." "What kind of dressing would you like with that?" "Paper or plastic?" "Credit or debit?" "A little help?"

For many of us, a quicker, more painless alternative to the mental calisthenics involved in assigning value to and acting upon the request for "a little help" – Isn't it much easier to consider: yes quarter, no quarter?an equation whose solution hits us squarely in the pocket, mind you – might be to simply turn down the request altogether. Rather than mentally scrolling through the myriad of options inherent in providing "a little help," isn't it much easier to consider: yes quarter, no quarter?

While G‑d is hardly plagued with the sense of feeling overwhelmed with choices, we can apply this principle of speaking directly to the point to our communications with Him, as well.

"This galut (exile) is getting kinda long." "Why do bad things happen to good people?" "Is global warming going to consume the earth, or what?" "When are we gonna deal with this deficit?" "How can we prevent wheat rust from destroying the world's grain supply?" "Who killed the electric car?"

"A little help...?"

If, like me, you are feeling desperate – if you are tired of sickness and war, if you are yearning for suffering to end and goodness to prevail, if you are ready for the world to finally operate in harmony with its design and purpose – why mince words? G‑d instructs mankind, "Articulate all your needs, and I will fulfill them" (Psalms 81:11). Despite His omniscience, it's as if G‑d is beseeching, "Please, be specific!"

The world has been standing on the figurative street corner for far too long, and our burden is far too great to waste any more time.

Let's speak to G‑d now, and let Him know exactly what it is we need.

Use the words, "We want Moshiach, now. We don't want to wait."

Please, don't wait.

Thank you. G‑d bless you.

Brocha Taub and her husband, Shais, were the founding co-directors of the Jewish recovery community in Milwaukee, WI. She now lives with her husband and four children in Pittsburgh, PA, where she is taking a break from her passion of early childhood education in order to be a mommy. Every now and then gets some precious time to write.
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