Yesterday my mother found an undated poem written by my grandmother, Chana bas Yisrael Aryeh. She taught herself English on the boat to America by reading a dictionary from the beginning like we would read a novel. She became a very talented writer of poems and letters.
It seems I inherited the creative writing gene from her. Although she didn't live to see it blossom, she was one of my biggest fans. She passed away approximately 27 years ago. I wish I could have known her as an adult.
This newly discovered poem from Baba is very sobering in these times of trouble. People often lash out at God when bad things happen and wonder why He didn't prevent them from happening. Perhaps a more appropriate and productive reaction would be to wonder why He should, and to give Him more of a reason to do so.
After all, for all the many things we want from God, we should not lose sight of the fact that He wants some things from us, too. Like all relationships, it's a two-way street. We don't get to dictate to God both what we want from Him AND what He should expect from us.
I'm honored to share this poem with you in my Baba's merit.
If G-d should go on strike
How good it is that G-d above has never gone on strike,
because He was not treated fair in things He didn't like.
If only once He'd given up and said "That's it, i'm thru!"
I've had enough of those on Earth, so this is what I'll do:
I'll give my orders to the sun - and cut off the heat supply!
and to the moon - give no more light, and run the oceans dry!
Then just to make things really tough and put the pressure on,
turn off the vital oxygen till every breath is gone!
You know, He would be justified if fairness were the game
for no one has been more abused or met with more disdain.
than G-d, and yet He carries on, supplying you and me
with all the favor of His grace
and everything for free.
Men say they want a better deal,
and so on strike they go
but what a deal we've given G-d to
whom all things we owe.
We don't care whom we hurt
to gain the things we like,
but what a mess we'd all be in
if G-d would go on strike.