Caring For Others
Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35 )
In this week's Torah portion, Moses goes up to Mount Sinai. There he speaks with God, and learns how to teach the Jewish people to live in the right way. God tells Moses how much He loves the people and how He gave them the Torah as a special gift. God explains even though sometimes people don't behave properly, He is very patient and wants to give them a chance to straighten things out. He's much more patient and caring than a person could ever be. We can learn from this how important it is to be patient and loving with the people in our life.
In our story a boy tries to act with patience and understanding even when someone makes it hard for him.
"THE TEMPER TESTER"
Jeremy Glitch didn't have too many friends. In fact he had exactly one -- Michael Fine. For some reason, most people got mad at Jeremy. But Michael never did. He even seemed to really like him.
One day Michael and his friend Danny were walking home from school together and guess who showed up?
He came over to the guys when they weren't looking. "Boo!" he said in a loud voice. The boys turned around with a start.
"Hi Jeremy. What's up?" Michael asked.
"It's none of your business, hah-hah" Jeremy answered. "By-the-way, where are you two bozos going?" he added with a silly laugh.
Danny couldn't believe his ears. "This guy is sooo annoying!" he said to himself.
But Michael didn't seem to get angry at all. He just kept answering Jeremy calmly, with a friendly smile on his face.
Jeremy kept asking the boys more and more silly questions, calling them names and making a general nuisance out of himself.
After Jeremy finally left, Danny turned to Michael and asked, "How can you stand that little creep?"
Michael looked surprised. "What do you mean?"
"After all those mean and annoying things he said to you, aren't you angry?" Danny asked.
"Listen, Danny," said Michael. "I know Jeremy is a little hard to take, but I just try to be patient with him. He'll probably grow out of it, and even if not, so what? Everybody's always getting mad at the poor guy, so I just try to give him a break."
Danny looked up at Michael and said, "Wow, I never looked at it that way. I think from now on I'll try to be a little more understanding too."
Q. Do you think Michael felt happy when Jeremy was bothering him and calling him names?
Q. Then why didn't he get mad at Jeremy?
A. He felt sorry for Jeremy and wanted to be nice to him even though he was annoying.
Q. Jeremy didn't have many friends. Why do you think Michael became Jeremy's friend even though most people found him to be so annoying?
A. Michael realized that just because someone isn't acting right doesn't mean we have to get mad at him, we can be patient and hope he'll improve.
Q. What are some ways you can show your patience and compassion with people who are bothering you?
A. If someone cuts in front of us in a line, we don't have to get angry. If our little sister or brother is being a pest, we can be patient, etc.
Q. Do you think a person has a "right" to get angry with somebody else? Why might it be worthwhile to be patient and understanding even if you are angry?
A. Usually getting angry isn't going to change the situation, and it's not going to make us feel better. And a lot of times if we treat people kindly they will start to improve themselves on their own.
Q. If you did something not nice to somebody else, how would we want that person to treat you? Would you want him or her to help you act better next time?