Shlomie was sulking all afternoon. “I want Tatti to fix my computer game,” he whined to his mother over and over.

Shlomie’s mother patiently explained. “I’m sorry Shlomie, but the mark on the test you brought home yesterday upset Tatti very much. Besides being very busy today, he’s disappointed with you. I don’t think he’ll take the time and effort to fix your game today.”

Shlomie knew his mother was right, but all he was thinking about was the game. “Doesn’t Tatti love me?” he blurted.

“Of course he does,” replied Shlomie’s mother gently. “Parents love their children very deeply, so deeply that sometimes they are willing to overlook what they do wrong. But not all the time. Sometimes it’s proper to hold back the deep love which overlooks wrong. After all, it makes sense not to reward wrongdoing.”

“But I still want my game fixed,” muttered Shlomie. “What can I do to get Tatti to overlook those marks for now?”

“Well,” said his mother, “Let’s try to find a way.”

Shlomie looked up hopefully. “We can learn a lesson from this week’s parshah,” his mother continued. “The parshah tells us that the Jewish people put a sign on their doorposts so that HaShem would pass over their homes during makkos bechoros. But why did they need a sign now? In all the other makkos, they didn’t put up any signs.

“Because makkos bechoros was different,” his mother went on. “Complaints were heard in the Heavenly Court saying: ‘How are the Jews different from the Egyptians? Many worship idols just like the Egyptians, so they should be punished too.’

“The complaint was true. But HaShem said: ‘I have a deep love for the Jewish people which overlooks wrongdoings; it’s an unreasonable love.’ And so HaShem gave the Jewish people an opportunity to do something to bring out this deep love.

“What were they supposed to do? Something which showed that their love for Him was also beyond reason. He told them to fulfill the mitzvos of bris milah and the korban pesach. Fulfilling these mitzvos and making signs on their doorpost showed their deep love for HaShem.

Bris milah shows how our love for HaShem is beyond reason. It creates a bond between HaShem and a baby, when the baby is only eight days old. At that age, a baby doesn’t understand, and yet the bond remains in his body forever.

“And the Pesach sacrifice surely showed a bond above reason. Is there anything more unreasonable than a slave taking a lamb — which his masters worship as a god — keeping it for four days so everyone will see, and then slaughtering and eating it? The Egyptians could have killed them for doing this. When the Jews showed a love for HaShem that went beyond reason, HaShem showed His deep love for them, and agreed to overlook their faults.”

Shlomie turned and walked towards the bookshelf. “Mommy, you know how hard it is for me to memorize mishnayos. It’s absolutely unreasonable to expect me to learn 15 mishnayos by heart. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. That will make Tatti happier with me, won’t it?”

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. III, Parshas Bo)