David had an angry look on his usually cheery face as he stomped into the kitchen. He dumped his schoolbag on a chair and took an apple from the fridge, slamming the door. His father looked at him in surprise.

"What's up, Dave? Why such a happy expression? Things aren't that great, you know!" he said jokingly.

"It's not fair!" the nine year old burst out. "Mr. Brown gave me a massive punishment today, just for drawing a picture of him. And it's the first time I've ever been bad. I'm always really good for him."

"Hmmm! What sort of picture was it?" queried his father.

"We-ell, I suppose it was a bit of a rude picture. But other boys do much worse things and they're not punished so much - I had to miss break and I have to write fifty times 'I must not draw silly pictures when I am supposed to be listening to what the teacher is saying.' Other boys just get lines, or no break, not both. It's just not fair!" he repeated.

"You know, David," said Dad, "I was just reading in the Torah a similar sort of story."

"Really? I didn't know they had schools in the Torah," said David in surprise.

"No, I didn't mean about something that happened in school. In the Torah, when the Jews are in the desert, their well dries up, the well which gave them water. They complain to Moses and Aaron, who pray to G‑d. G‑d tells Moses that he should take his staff, and in front of the whole Jewish community, speak to a rock, and from this rock water would come out. So the whole Jewish people assembled, to see this miracle."

"I know," said David. "Then Moses hit the rock instead of speaking to it."

"Quite right," said his father. "He hit it, and water came out, but G‑d was angry with Moses, for not listening properly. So Moses and Aaron were both punished: G‑d told them they could not enter the Holy Land."

"Poor Moses," said David. "That's not fair - he'd brought the Jews out from Egypt and worked so hard, and now G‑d isn't letting him go to Israel. And he was such a great man."

"That's exactly why," explained his father. "Because he was a great man, there were higher expectations. For a regular person, it wouldn't have been so bad to do what he did, but for him it was terrible."

"Oh, I think I see! Because I'm usually good, Mr. Brown thought what I did was much worse, so he gave me a harsh punishment..."

David looked a bit happier now. It wasn't so bad, being in the same position as Moses! And it wouldn't take him so long to do those lines, if he started them now and didn't waste time...