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Description: In this week’s parsha video, Rabbi Fohrman points to two fascinating stories which seem to have contradictory lessons about the way we interact with God.

These stories force us to ask a theological question: what impact, if any, can we have on God? Is it possible for us to influence God?


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Rabbi David Fohrman is the dean of Aleph Beta Academy. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, and was a lead writer and editor for ArtScroll's Talmud translation project. Aleph Beta creates videos to help people experience Torah in way that is relevant and meaningful to them. for more videos, visit:


  1. It is possible to plead with God but is it good to do so? I don’t think so. In Moishe’s case his love for the people saved them because God’s wrath against the people was on behalf of Moishe, but when Hezekiah pleaded with God for his life instead of preparing for death and God granted him 15 more years we can see this did not end well, Hezekiah became proud and boastful and this resulted in a lot of trouble. I think we can plead with God but in the end we need to say “Your will be done”, because God will do what is best for us if we trust Him.

  2. “u’Teshuva, u’Tefila, u’Tzedaka ma’avirin et roah haGezerah” – “But repentance, and prayer and and acts of loving-kindness cause the evilness of the decree to pass.” Yes, it is possible and desirable; G-d Himself gives us the formula.

  3. Great teaching..goes right along with Chrisrian teaxhings also..but I always wonder and then I also get the message in the story of King Solomon..1..He was the wisest man created, the wisdom of Solomon all through the old testament, and yet in the end , he married pagan wives and brought pagan idols into the temples. So it seems that the wisest man is still foolish wisdom to God..2. This story resembles the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. .where one pleads to God to save at least his family among the city which God wants to destroy, and God listens..

  4. I do believe the Lord listen to His elect, as Moses often interceded for the people and G-d listened to Moses. But I do believe it is always according to His Will and not our Will, as He is Supreme.

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