In God’s Hands

In God’s Hands by Lawrence Kushner and Gary Schmidt is a charming traditional Jewish folktale of obeying God that children will be sure to delight in.

Jacob, a rich man, always feel asleep during service but one day he woke up just long enough to hear one verse from Leviticus, saying he should make 12 loaves of challah and give them to God.

Believing it had been God who had spoken to him, Jacob obeys.  He bakes the challah and brings it to the synagogue and places it in the ark.

David, a poor man with a family to feed who cleans the synagogue, finds the challah and believes God has answered his prayers for food.

This cycle continues on for years with Jacob believing God ate the challahs and David believing God made the challahs until one day the rabbi discovers what is happening.  He calls the two men together and reveals the truth.  At first, both are disheartened as their belief in God is shattered.

But the rabbi points out that even though their conception is wrong, they must go on continuing to make the bread, knowing how both of their hands are God’s hands, doing His work, for His people.

Great lesson for all about obeying the whispers from God and seeing how the outcome of obedience is God’s plan with often unpredictable and wonderful results.  My kids loved this tale and couldn’t wait to read it again.

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