The Cinderella Nation

“Cinderella, clean my clothes!”
“Cinderella, where’s my dress?”
“Cinderella, wash the floor. And when you finish, don’t forget to clean the cinders out of the chimney.”
 
Seems like there was no love lost between Cinderella and her step-mother. If she really loved her, she certainly wouldn’t have asked her to do EVERYthing. What about Drizella and Anastasia, her step-sisters? Must be step-mother loved THEM so much, she never asked them to do ANYthing.
 
There’s a very famous verse in Judaism that is repeated over and over again by those engrossed in their learning. It goes like this:
 
“God wants to reward the children of Israel so much, He increased the number of commandments.”
 
Given the story of Cinderella, isn’t that counter-intuitive? If God really loved us, why not just give us one or two commandment to follow? Make it easy for us to succeed? Maybe something like, “Don’t forget to brush your teeth in the morning.”  I could live with that.
 
If that’s all it took to get a piece of candy as a reward (which is why we have to brush our teeth in the first place), life would quickly become meaningless, hum drum, pointless.
 
Instead, God raised the stakes. By creating a commandment for all aspects of life, even those things that we do naturally become worthy of a reward.
 
Eat some food, say a blessing, you get a reward.
Help an old lady cross the street, you get a reward.
Wake up in the morning and say “Thank God I’m alive”, you get a reward.
 
And then there’s the more esoteric things:
 
Don’t eat meat and milk together.
Put those strange black boxes on your arm and head six days a week.
Blow a ram’s horn once a year.
 
Why? I can’t tell you. But we have 613 of those. The Noahide Laws for all the other nations only contain seven commandments.
 
Why? The verse says God loves the Jewish people and wants to give us rewards.
 
As I recall, it was Cinderella who got the Prince, not her sisters.

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Posted in: Jewish Beliefs & Philosophy
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Comments icon July 25, 2012

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