“Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your descendants will dispossess nations
and settle in their desolate cities.” — Isaiah 54:2–3
The Torah portion for this week is Ki Teitzei, which means “when you go out,” from Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 54:1–10.
There is a story told about two different childless couples who go to a rabbi for a blessing. Each couple shares with the rabbi the pain and suffering that they are going through and how much they want to be blessed with a child. Both leave the rabbi with words of encouragement and a blessing.
Within a year, one couple is blessed with a healthy baby while the other couple goes year after year still waiting. After years of disappointment, the husband of the still-childless couple goes back to the rabbi and voices his complaint. “Why is it that we are still waiting for a child when the other couple who came to you around the same time that we did was blessed almost immediately?” The rabbi replied, “When you left, you appreciated the blessing and waited to see if it would come true. When the other couple left, they went out and bought a stroller. Their faith created the vessel in which to receive the blessing.”
While there are no guarantees in life, and we are certainly not able to understand God’s ways and calculations, one thing is for sure: faith is conducive for blessings. As the Bible illustrates time and again, many of the miracles brought about were the results of unwavering faith. The more we believe, the more we receive. This is why the first childless couple’s action of buying a stroller paved the path to their induction into parenthood.
Similarly, in this week’s Haftorah, the fifth in a series of seven meant to prepare us for the High Holy Days with words of encouragement, we are told to take actions that will lead to blessings. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back.” Israel is told to make room for the exiles who will soon be returning. No, they had not come yet, but the people were to get ready, make preparations, and have faith that it would happen.
There are times in our lives when we are waiting for our blessings to arrive. But as this verse suggests, don’t just wait; anticipate! Anticipate God’s blessings. Have faith that miracles will happen and your faith may be the key that unlocks the doors before you. When we demonstrate to God that we have full trust in Him, He will answer our prayers faithfully. So what are you waiting for? Go out and prepare for your blessings today!
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President