Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

Any preschool teacher has undoubtedly heard the comment dozens of times: “My Daddy is bigger than your Daddy.” Today, that comment may have changed a bit to something like, “My Daddy is a bigger lawyer than your Daddy and can sue your Daddy” or “My Daddy has more stocks and real estate than your Daddy,” but it’s the same basic idea.

To compensate for their being small, children often point to an adult in their lives who is bigger and more accomplished than they are. The message is, “I may be small, but I have this big guy on my side who will vouch for me and defend me”; “I may be small, but I have a Daddy looking out for me who won’t allow anyone to mess with me!”


Rav Shimshon Pincus, zt”l, related that one night an aspiring doctor in the middle of his residency, was told that he would be in charge of an entire ward of the hospital for the duration of his night shift. With many patients and no other doctors on call, it was sure to be a challenge. But he was told as soon as it became too much for him there was an available phone which had a direct line to other doctors and nurses who would immediately wake up and come to his aid.

The evening began quietly, and the doctor was able to take care of everything himself. Although he was worn out, he was proud of his ability to keep everything in order by himself. However, as midnight approached, there was a sudden explosion of issues, as numerous patients required immediate care simultaneously. The doctor ran through the ward with all his strength and tried to tend to all the issues. By the end of the night, two patients were in serious condition due to lack of treatment, and one other was on the verge of death.

The doctor was summoned before the hospital authorities and warned that they were going to be forced to press charges against him for endangering the lives of the patients under his care. The doctor was shocked. “There was absolutely nothing more I could have done,” he countered. “I was put in an impossible situation, and I pushed myself to my limit.” The director of the hospital shook his head. “You are wrong. There was something more you could have and should have done. You were told that there was a phone line available for you to reach the head doctor. Why did you arrogantly try to do everything yourself? Why didn’t you utilize the means of assistance that were available to you? It was your naïveté and hubris that convinced you to try to go it alone. Therefore, you are indeed culpable!”

Rav Pincus noted that we are placed in a world with myriad challenges and confusion. But we are given a phone line, an address to turn to whenever we need help – it’s the power of prayer, the siddur, and Tehillim. If we fail to take advantage of that ability, it’s our own foolishness.

Our Daddy is indeed the biggest of them all. Particularly in difficult and challenging times we should take advantage of the fact that He is always listening and is always there for us.

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Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, is a popular speaker and author as well as a rebbe in Heichal HaTorah in Teaneck, NJ. He has recently begun seeing clients in private practice as part of the Rockland CBT group. For appointments and speaking engagements, contact 914-295-0115 or [email protected]. Archives of his writings can be found at