A rabbi once placed an order with the town tailor for a new pair of trousers. Time schlepped; the tailor missed deadline after promised deadline. Finally, months after the delivery due date, the pants were ready.

True, they were a great fit, but the rabbi, piqued by the delay, decided to gently point out his displeasure. "Explain something please. G‑d took just six days to create the world, and you've taken nearly six months just on one pair of pants?"

"Achh, how can you compare, just look at what a mess G‑d made... and look at this gorgeous pair of pants!"

To be Jewish is to complain about G‑d and to be secretly convinced that, given the chance, you could have done a better job.

Don't give me the choice, don't create evil. You relax, let us relax and we'll all be happy... Here's my question on G‑d. In this week's Torah reading, we start off with the immortal choice:, "Behold I place before you today the blessing and the curse," i.e., good vs. evil, life vs. death. My Question: Don't give me the choice; don't create evil. You relax, let us relax and we're all happy.

The great Chassidic master, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, had a parallel complaint: "G‑d, it's not fair. For a Jew to be confronted by evil, all he has to do is walk down Main Street and he'll discover temptations by the wagonload, decked out in all their attractive permutations. Try to scare him onto the straight and narrow, and you have to direct him to some musty old book which details harrowing descriptions of the punishments of Hell...

"I promise you, G‑d, if you shoved the sights and sounds of Gehenna in plain view, and buried earthly temptations in some dusty old tome, nobody would ever be enticed to sin. It's all Your fault!"

A few years ago, some of those bright sparks we employ to sit in the Education Department and issue amusing directives came out with a beauty: from now on no scores were to be kept when umpiring kids' sports. Losing, competing and all those other nasty vices went against the latest political correctness manifesto.

No scores (teaches inequality), no goal posts (encourages short-term, selfish-oriented behavior), and put all the kids on one team... I remember arguing at the time that if they were serious about the initiative they should abandon the goal posts (encourages short-term, selfish-oriented behavior), and, to develop it to it's logical conclusion, put all the kids on the one team.

The only problem was that the kids didn't buy it.

Sports, by definition, are competitive. Without a method of keeping score, with no winner or loser, the exercise becomes pointless.

It's the same with life.

G‑d could have created all the angels he wanted, behaving in an exemplary fashion and scoring perfect 10's every time. Instead he made us. We strive; we try. We win some;wi we lose some.

When we get it right, we get advanced up the board a few spaces. Get it wrong and you'll find yourself at the bottom of the slide, looking for a ladder to climb back up again.

The rewards of life are predicated on our defeating evil. For us to change, to grow, we need an opponent to wrestle with and ultimately defeat.

In the great game called life, evil represents the black pawns coming at you. Vanquish them, reach the end of the board, and you'll be crowned a Queen.