"Hey, Debbi, what's the matter?" Mr Korn looked at his eight year old daughter in some concern. She was sitting, her head buried in her arms, sobbing. Tearstained eyes looked up at him. "Last week, (sob) you told me that if I want something I should pray for it (sob)." Debbi said miserably. "So today, I broke the next door window and I prayed really hard that Miss Smythe wouldn't find out it was me, but she did. G‑d didn't listen to me!" If she would have looked at her father, she would have seen a distinct twinkle in his eyes. Nonetheless, he said seriously: "But Debbi, have you considered that G‑d did listen to you, and perhaps He thought that maybe it was better that Miss Smythe should find out it was you?". He could see his small daughter turning this thought over in her head. "But, I don't like it when someone tells me off," she said in a small voice. "Aha, but if no-one ever told you off you might not realize when you did something wrong. For example you might think there is nothing wrong with playing ball near other people's windows and breaking them - as long as you don't get found out! Then you might possibly grow up to be a selfish person. No doubt G‑d doesn't like that idea."

"So, you mean that sometimes we pray for things but G‑d doesn't give them to us because if He did it wouldn't be good for us?" Debbi asked thoughtfully.

"Exactly!" her father said "In fact, we have an example of that in this week's Torah portion, Va'etchanan. G‑d has told Moses that he can't enter the Holy Land, but still Moses prayed very hard asking to be allowed to, after all. Do you know what? G‑d still did not let him go into the Land. It was not in G‑d's plan to let Moses enter the Land of Israel at that time, so even though Moses, a really great person, prayed very hard, his prayer was answered 'No.'"

Debbi's eyes opened wide. "So do you mean prayers are always answered - just sometimes 'yes' and sometimes 'no'...?"

"Yes," said her father. "You are quite right. The main thing is that through the praying we connect with G‑d." Debbi thought about that. "Just think!" she thought. "Through praying we connect with G‑d!" She realized her father was saying something else, and she had not been listening. He began again. "By the way, Miss Smythe told me this evening she did not want to charge us for the window, because she was so grateful to you for rescuing her kitten when it got stuck up a tree last week. So maybe G‑d answered 'yes' after all! Now say the Shema, and remember to thank G‑d for looking after you... Goodnight!"