> Weekly Torah Portion > Parents & Kids > Family Parsha

Just What We Need

Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1 )

by Nesanel Yoel Safran

We all get just what we need, whether we realize it or not. In this week's Torah portion (Num. 26:55), we learn how God, through a special system of lot-drawing, made sure each of the 12 tribes got just the portion of the Land of Israel best suited for them. Though nowadays God's 'hand' in things isn't so obvious, He's still involved with each of us, making sure we get what's best for us - and just what we need.

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In our story, a kid finds out that sometimes things that seem useless are just what we need.


Karen was looking so forward to her class last-day-of-school party - and actually enjoying it - until the gift lottery...

"Okay, guys," the teacher said, "I put a number on each of these wrapped presents. Now you'll take turns and pick a number from this hat and get your prize!"

The kids were excited. One drew a number and squealed in delight at the hit music CD; another at the gift certificate from Pizza Palace. Now it was Karen's turn. She loved prizes and surprises. What would she get? Maybe something she could take on her daily bike rides to the beach.

But when she drew her number and claimed her prize, her heart sunk. It was an umbrella! What bad luck! Sure, it was a pretty color, but who needed or wanted a stupid umbrella in the summer in the beach town where she lived, when there was nearly a zero chance of seeing a single drop of rain for the next six months!...

Karen had been so disappointed that she'd almost ditched the dumb thing in the dumpster on her way out of the school parking lot. It just wasn't fair. Why did she get something so useless?

As she stomped home, the dark clouds of anger and frustration in Karen's mind seemed so real that if almost looked dark and cloudy outside - which was, of course, impossible.

Or was it?

The unusual cool breeze woke Karen out of her daydream. It really was clouding up, and fast.


A flash of lightening lit up the gray sky and before she knew it, Karen felt a drizzle on her skin which turned into drops then a downpour! Both tourists and locals, caught totally unprepared for the freak storm, were frantically scurrying wherever they could for shelter. Karen had to find some shelter, too. But where?

She felt panic sweep over her, but then broke into a giddy smile as she remembered . and unfolded her umbrella.

"Hey kid!" a couple of drenched tourists called out to her, jealously. "How in the world did you know to take an umbrella with you today? The weather report said it was going to be sunny and warm all week! Are you some kind of genius or something?"

As she watched the pandemonium all around her from under the dry safety of her 'summer umbrella' Karen suddenly felt that it had been somehow more than just a coincidence that she'd won the umbrella as a prize. It had been, like . planned. Could be that Someone up there had been watching out for her and was - and would always be - giving her shelter from the storm.

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Ages 3-5

Q. How did Karen feel at first about her prize?
A. She was angry and thought it was useless.

Q. How did she feel in the end?
A. She felt like it had come to her for a reason and was grateful.


Ages 6-9

Q. What life-lesson do you think Karen learned that day?
A. She'd seen getting an umbrella in a hot dry summer as bad luck. But when it unexpectedly rained, she realized that sometimes things that seemed random and unfortunate were really part of God's plan to give her what she needs.

Q. Do we always see why things are for our best?
A. No. Many, if not most of the time we don't. Still, we should remember that noting is random and God is working 'behind the scenes' and sending us what we best need for our ultimate good and personal growth.


Ages 10 and Up

Q. Do you think God cares about, or is involved with the details of our lives?
A. God loves us more than we can imagine. Someone who loves another, cares about him so deeply that everything that happens to him - no matter how seemingly trivial - matters to him. More than this; God in a way that's beyond our imagination plans out our lives in the most minute detail to maximize our spiritual growth and ultimate pleasure.

Q. Is there anything we can do to increase our 'vision' of how there's a Godly plan to our lives?
A. We just have to be on the lookout. If we try to take note - and jot down in a special notebook - just one little 'small miracle' every day, how things 'came together' to help us, we'll soon feel ourselves surrounded by God's good and care.


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