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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Comments icon July 25, 2012


By allan on July 25, 2012 -- 5:45pm

כמו שאומרים
“no pain no gain”

By Liran at Machon Meir dot Net on July 31, 2012 -- 9:23am

nice !
(i loved the finish)

The MAHARAL says in Tifferes Israel that the deep meaning of that phrase is that since the Mitzvos define our Jewish Character, Meaning - what we are capable of doing, when G-d gives are more Mitzcos id means that he gives us more abilities.

So mybe instead of saying we’re like Cinderella, according to the MAHARAL, it’s better to finish the story that the sisters find out we are actually Superman grin

Check out my website: machonmeir dot net

Be Well!

By Go a little deeper on August 3, 2012 -- 8:07pm

I refer you to the Rambam’s explanation of the quoted Mishna, in Mishnayot Makkot 3:10. Although it doesn’t negate your lovely point, the content is well worth knowing, and provides tremendous insight into the value of Mitzvos.

By Thanks on August 14, 2012 -- 10:37pm

These 613 commandments don’t just gain us a reward per action, making it easy to receive a lot of reward. They encompass our lives so we can connect to the king of the world every moment of our living and breathing. That is a closeness reserved for us alone.

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