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Find Some Other Sucker

By Tzvi Fishman
4/10/2008, 12:00 AM

Imagine if the following had been the talkbacks of some of our heroes of old:

“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Yes, sir.”
“This is Hashem.”
“Yes, sir, I know sir.”
“Don’t call me sir. I am not your army commander.”
“Yes, sir, sorry, sir, I mean, Hashem, sir.”
“Abraham, get thee forth to the Land that I will show you.”
“Where is that exactly, if I may ask?”
“Trust me.”
“I do, sir, but I have to know in advance in order to assess the data and make a cognitive decision.”
“The Land of Israel.”
“I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that. There are heathens in the land, barbarians, idol worshippers. It’s suicide. Get yourself some other sucker.”
“I will be with you.”
“Sorry, but a person can’t rely on miracles.”
“I am not asking you, Abraham, I am commanding you.”
“I realize that, sir, but you can’t expect a man to act against his own understanding. After all, it was you who gave me a brain to think with, and right now, with the heathens in the land, it is suicide to go there. You clean things up first, get rid of the natives, provide a ready-made infrastructure, apartments, supermarkets, jobs, and then I will think about going. Meanwhile, my family has a thriving business that I have to manage.”

Fortunately for the Jewish People and the world, Abraham didn’t respond in this egotistical manner. He believed in Hashem and he went, without hesitation. If he hadn’t, the world never would have learned that there was only one G-d.

“Moses!”
“Yes, sir!”
“Don’t call me sir. I am not your army commander. I am the G-d of Abraham.”
“Yes, sir, I know, sir.”
“Free the Jews from bondage in Egypt and take them home to Israel.”
“To Israel?”
“That’s right.”
“I can’t do that. There are heathens in the Land. Seven savage nations. Idol worshippers. They sacrifice their children to Molech. And Amalek is waiting along the way. It’s suicide to go there.”
“I will be with you.”
“Sorry, but that’s not enough. If you want, I’ll take the Jews out of Egypt to France, or England, or to America, but if you are dead set on Israel, find yourself another sucker.”
Fortunately, Moses did not respond in this fashion. If he had, the world never would have received the Torah.

“Joshua!”
“Yes, sir”
“Take the Jews to Israel!”
“Where?”
“To the Land of Israel.”
“But there are powerful nations in the land. With fortified cities. And they’re armed to the teeth. It will be suicide. Especially with the army I have – a rabble of former slaves who don’t have an ounce of Jewish pride or valor.”
“I will be with you.”
“It’s not enough. I’ll need at least 200 F-16s, 500 tanks, 100 Apaches, 10,000 M-16s with night scopes, 10,000 Napalm bombs, 20 top commanders, and at least a year of hard training to turn these slaves into soldiers. Without it, find yourself some other sucker.”

Fortunately, Joshua didn’t answer in this rational manner. If he had, the Jews would never had had a national homeland or built the Beit HaMikdash.

Fortunately, our Forefathers believed in G-d.