Don’t Disturb Me Now

“Don’t disturb me now!”  How often have we used that phrase?  Looking back, whenever we’ve muttered, “Don’t disturb me now,” hasn’t it usually been said to a child?   The years inevitably go by and eventually you wish that your child would disturb you now.

Occasionally, we might say it to a spouse.  Then the years go by and you realize how much you’d give if only your spouse was there to disturb you now. Or any time.  Sometimes a customer walks into your store just as you’re getting ready to close up for the day.  You may not say it, but you’re thinking, “Don’t disturb me now!”  It’s good to remember those early days when you prayed for a customer to walk through the door.

It can happen that one is overtaken by an urgent call of nature at an inconvenient time, say, in the middle of an important meeting.  It would be perfectly normal to silently beseech one’s body, “Don’t disturb me now!”  A better response is to take care of bathroom business and then thank God for one’s body and its multiple complex orifices all of which open and close at the appropriate times.  Being able to relieve oneself regularly is a big blessing.

Blessings of all kinds come but we often miss them because they don’t necessarily come on our schedule.  “Don’t disturb me now” is just one way of banishing blessing.  Being so inwardly focused is another way of remaining oblivious to a blessing in the shape of an opportunity.  A business professional seeking to hire an associate can sometimes have such an overly defined candidate in mind that he ignores someone who’d be a spectacular employee.  A single man assuring all his married friends about how eager he is to find a spouse but with such a fixed picture in mind of the woman he imagines marrying that he all but eliminates the possibility of blessing finding him.

Sadly, at one time or another, we’ve all shut ourselves off from blessing.  And there is no surer way of shutting down the flow of blessing than by not being an open and empty container.

Here’s a great Biblical story found in the beginning of II Kings, chapter 4.

A desperately poor widow approached the prophet Elisha imploring him for help.  He asked what she had in the house.  Her response: “Nothing but a tiny jar of oil.” 

Elisha told her to go out and borrow as many empty vessels as possible; jars, bottles, 50-gallon drums, anything.  He then told her to make sure she was alone and then to start filling all those empty containers from her tiny jar of oil.  Amazingly, the blessing in the form of oil, representing then as now—wealth— began to flow without limit.

Ancient Jewish wisdom teaches how throughout Scripture, oil with its ability to bring light, is a metaphor for prominence, wealth and success. For this reason, when a king is crowned, he is anointed with oil.  So established is this powerful association of oil, that on June 2nd, 1953, just before the crown was placed upon the head of Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in Westminster Abbey, some oil was ceremonially placed upon her head and chest. 

We see that Elisha brought God’s blessing on to the poor widow in the form of oil.  You’d have thought that when all the vessels were filled with oil, the blessing would cease.  But you’d be wrong. It continued to flow so she called out to her son, “Bring me more containers!”  Instead of racing off to locate more vessels, he replied, to his mother, “There are no more containers.” That’s when the oil stopped.

When we decide that there are no more containers for blessing, the oil stops.  When we decide that we ourselves are no longer willing to be containers for blessing, the blessing stops flowing.  “Don’t disturb me now” is one way of signaling our unwillingness to become a container for blessing. 

Ordinarily this would be where this Thought Tool ends but today I need to ask you if you’ll allow me to disturb you now.  The work undertaken by the American Alliance of Jews and Christians is increasing.  Now, more than in recent years, the spread of secular fundamentalism throughout schools, universities, entertainment and politics is resulting in ever more hostility to Judeo-Christian values.  Public partiality towards Islam is paired with increased hostility towards traditional Christian and Jewish beliefs and values.

Pseudo ‘rights’ organizations are increasingly targeting Christian groups and their leaders as spreaders of ‘hate’.  The ridiculing of religious values of both Jews and Christians occurs on campus with frightening regularity.  Denunciation of Israel as no more than an outpost of western colonialism continues.  Demonization of pro-life people now makes much of public life downright uncomfortable if not sometimes even dangerous.

In these times, the loud and unwavering voice of a Jewish rabbi along with those brave voices allied with the American Alliance of Jews and Christians makes a real difference.  In these times when so many Jewish organizations originally formed to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism have abandoned their noble founding in order to become additional advocates for secularism and progressive values, our voice here at the AAJC becomes even more urgently needed. 

I implore you to continue your generous support of our work.  Now is the time we really need your help to be able to stand up boldly and firmly.  Please don’t say, “Don’t disturb me now.” 

P.S. While we appreciate and are grateful for gifts of any amount, if your resources allow please consider sponsoring a year of Thought Tools for an annual gift of $10,000. We will be delighted to acknowledge your support in each issue. Available free online to all, feedback tells us that Thought Tools has the power to change hearts and minds, bringing people closer to God. If after praying, you would like to discuss this with us please contact Once again, we are thankful for all gifts whatever their size, and cherish your support.

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16 thoughts on “Don’t Disturb Me Now”

  1. Great article …Thanks for your great information, the contents are quite interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

  2. Brian F. Tucker

    Dear Rabbi,
    As read your comments I was reminded of an incident that happened many years ago. We had finished dinner and I had settled into my easy chair to watch tv. As I was getting settled my 5yr. old daughter came and set a broken toy on the the arm of the chair looking up at me she said ” it’s broke daddy” . I said “ok I’ll have to glue it”, and continued watching my show. I look down and there she was. Her arm folded resting on the chair are looking at me with tear filled eyes. I said “what”. She answered ” well, glue it. I missed the rest of the show.
    Although I still tend to procrastinate at times.


  3. Dear Rabbi and Susan Lapin…
    After several years of viewing, reading online (and contributing my two cents) I am delighted to ‘anoint’ your wonderful organization with a $ donation. I wish it could be much more, but it is from the heart. May all your donations facilitate your mission to rekindle the fires of faith. Respectfully yours….

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Thank you James,
      We have always appreciated your contributions whether in the form of words and ideas or dollars.

  4. Roxanna Helmick

    I greatly appreciate all you and Susan do to protect Jewish and Christian values. I have cheerfully sent a donation.

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Thanks so much Roxanna:-
      And we greatly appreciate you reading and listening to our work and helping it all happen.

  5. That fascinating coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, was brilliantly dramatized in a series called THE CROWN (2016). Though the actual coronation was broadcast live for the world to see, the actual anointing ceremony was not. The television series took liberties in depicting the anointing process with just a dab of oil as compare to the overflow of oil with Aaron anointed as high priest. The scene inspired me to examine closely as to the purpose of being anointed by HaShem. Thanks again!

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Yes, Lisa,
      I think The Crown was a Netflix production and it was very successful. Not very accurate but very entertaining.

  6. Rabbi, I love all your stuff!

    From your article, I used to say that all the time, until one day my wife of 35 years, said “Can I bother you for a minute? Don’t get mad.”

    “WOW” I thought. “Something’s not right, here!”

    I changed everything, right then. Now, whenever she has ANY problem, she just asks, without worrying about it. If she sees me busy, she’ll ask if she can interrupt (usually if I’m writing or doing computer stuff). I usually stop, unless I’m worried I’ll lose my train of thought. Then I’ll say “Just a sec,” find a place to stop, then I’m all ears. It’s usually a minor problem with her laptop, tablet, or iPhone (she doesn’t have a technical bone in her body LOL). And usually I know she’ll be coming, because I hear the conversation she’s having with it!

    The side effect? Peace and few arguments. All because I shifted my outlook to “us.”

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      You got it, Timothy;
      That’s exactly the point I was trying to make. Isn’t it wonderful to hear ladies talking to their electronics?

  7. Teacher thank you for this = “….when so many Jewish organizations originally formed to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism have abandoned their noble founding in order to become additional advocates for secularism and progressive values….”
    its becoming near impossible to meet a Jewish person who hasnt fallen for the lie and cult of “modern judaism”….

    1. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Yes, all very sad, Bob,
      The numbers are depressing but the delta is hopeful. Far more see the truth today than 25 years ago. And, though far from solely responsible, the AAJC has played its part in that welcome change

    2. (With the Rabbi’s kind permission): Bob, I recognize your name as a frequent commenter. Thanks for your heartfelt testimony as to the state of the Jewish persuasion in America today. I must concur, alas. I was fascinated by the Jewish faith early on. Yet when I met a person professing Jewish faith or ethnicity I became conditioned to recoil, expecting with justification to meet an alienated Progressive with a ‘chip on the shoulder’ and a virulent disrespect for the Scriptural values by which I was raised. Thanks to the teachings of Our Rabbi (‘Well, I am NOT one of those’) and others, this is changing. Most recently I sought to address a ‘legend’ hovering about my family history and had my DNA tested: Lo and Behold, among other things I myself am Ashkenazic, too. A little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf!

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