Running late for his flight, Jerry pulled into the airport parking lot and anxiously searched for an open spot. With only minutes left to go through security and reach his gate, Jerry desperately cried out to G-d, “Please, Please! I have to make this flight. Help me find a parking space!” Just as he finished his plea, Jerry noticed a car pull out of a spot. He let out a sigh of relief, turned to G-d, and said, “Never mind, G-d. I don’t need Your help. I just found a spot!”

The Torah writes in regard to the plight of the orphan and the widow, “If you mistreat them, and they cry to Me, I will listen to them (Ex 22:22).” A more precise translation of the original Hebrew, however, reveals a beautiful lesson: “If mistreat you mistreat them, and cry they cry to Me, listen I will listen to them.” Why is each expression in the verse so repetitive? The orphan and the widow, as paradigms for all who have no one else to turn to, are mistreated repeatedly, because they can’t defend themselves. They cry out to G-d again and again, because it’s clear to them that no one else will help. G-d listens, and responds to them, time and time again, because they sincerely concede that He is their only hope.

We too can tap into the power of prayer, when we admit the truth that ultimately, we too have no one else to turn to, not even ourselves. In the end, G-d is our sole lifeline. Although we may appear to have the skills, the money, or the connections to guarantee success, only G-d Himself can make guarantees. Without His blessing, the most efficient, well-funded project is doomed to failure. When He is at the helm, we can always find where to park, and make every flight! (Based on Tiferes Shimshon, Rabbi Shimshon Pincus zt”l)

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