Contact Us

Give a Little Push

Give a Little Push


This week's Torah reading tells us that "...and the fire... shall be kept burning in [the Altar]... and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning" (Leviticus 6:5).

The Talmud points out that although there was a fire that descended from heaven, nonetheless a "human input" was required to keep the fire burning.

We could ask a question on this—and, indeed, on the entire process of the Divine service which took place in the Temple and takes place in our everyday lives: what does G‑d need our work for? Surely He could do everything Himself?

The Talmud relates a story of Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa who saw a huge stone, which he wanted to donate to the Temple. The stone was too big for him to move by himself and he could not afford to hire laborers to help him to move it. He saw a vision in which G‑d told him: Push it with your little finger. Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa pushed the stone and he saw angels who helped him to move it to the Temple.

We have the ability to tap into the infinite, we just have to "open the door" and do our best What is this story teaching us? We frequently find ourselves facing overwhelming challenges. It is worthwhile to remember that all G‑d is asking from us is that we push with our little finger. We have the ability to tap into the infinite, we just have to "open the door" and do our best. When we do, we will find ourselves succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. With the help from Above, we are able to accomplish far more than we ever could by ourselves.

However, we have to make that first move, even if it is only a little push, to tap into the infinite, to bring down the Divine blessings into our everyday lives.

Mordechai Wollenberg is the Senior Rabbi of Woodford Forest United Synagogue and a shliach in North East London, United Kingdom.
Artwork by David Brook. David lives in Sydney, Australia, and has been selling his art since he was in high school. He is currently painting and doing web illustrations.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous Canada March 21, 2013

Another Aspect of Same Story If I recall correctly it was Rab Chanina Ben Dosa who had to put in all kinds of effort in order to be able to get the rock over once he had fashioned it for hours (carvings etc., not being able to afford hiring regular workers to move it, G-d sent him angels. I think it also alludes to the Emunaic Teachings of King David, that we must put in a full effort on all possible sides, then miracles happen.
At the same time we have the Verse where G-d says" put in a pinhole, and I will Give you gushing waterfalls" Reply

Gavriela Silver Spring, MD March 30, 2008

to esther G*d doesn't NEED our work. WE need it. :)

This article was great. Sometimes I stop asking G*d for what I need because I don't want to bug Him, and frankly, it gets hard on *me* to keep bugging Him. But I need to push. I need to *do* what I can do, and then "bug" Him for the rest. Reply

esther March 20, 2008

really beautiful, but how does it answer the q? I found this to be really inspiring. But how does it answer the question Why does G-d NEED our work. I see how it answers the question why we need to put in effort. Reply

stephanie coral springs, fl March 19, 2008

that was very nice..thanks Reply

Nikodem Stockholm, SWE March 25, 2007

This was really interesting and beautiful! Thank you very much! Reply

Related Topics
This page in other languages