Last year the government started a pilot program to direct funds through the schools so they can hire help for students who need a little extra help, instead of parents having to find it outside the school system. One of my kids was eligible and my wife jumped through all the hoops she needed (which were many) and we were given the "okay."
In September, we saw that the school wasn’t doing anything regarding this, and contacted them to find out what was going on. Now the school has some good teachers, but the administrative side of the school and the system it belongs to is…to put it nicely…lacking. I won’t go into all the details, but between incompetence, laziness, and the complete lack of organization and responsibility, on practically every level, we were, for months, being thrown around in circles with one excuse after another. It turns out that the school/system never asked for, and thereby never received the money from the proper government offices to hire the help.
Finally, at the end of December they told us that all was set and fine. However, it took us two months to realize that everything was NOT all set and fine. We were about to go into the fire once more, until Corona struck, which actually made us happy, since we couldn’t do anything about it anymore.
Well, after things started to return to "normal," we got back on the case. This time however, we found somebody sympathetic to our cause, who said that they will try to help us, on condition that nobody knows about it, since they have access to certain people in certain offices, and if others learned that this person was going behind their backs…well…they didn’t need that headache.
Within the next three weeks, this person made a few calls, told us who to call, who to write to, how to write the letters, etc., and in the end, everything is organized and the money is ready to be transferred. We accomplished in three weeks what the administration didn’t do in nine months.
Then this person told us, “Listen, you’ll be getting a call from the school in the next few days telling you that everything is organized and ready to begin. It is important to thank them very much for all the hard work they did on your behalf.”
We were in shock! They didn’t accomplish a thing! Yes, they probably made a few calls at first and then dropped the ball, but from what we saw, they spent more time covering themselves than actually attempting to solve the problem. We had another list of words we would prefer to use when they called, but this person explained the reasoning behind it, and unfortunately, they were correct.
So, when they called, my wife calmed herself down and put on a good show. To which they took the thanks and then informed us that now that they organized getting the finances through, WE are responsible for finding the actual help (which is their job, but we’re certainly not going to let them do it given their record).
We were very upset. Here we are, taking time from our work to do their work without their knowing, THEN we had to thank them for all the hard work they did to make things happen.
I mean, I know Israeli bureaucracy is bad, but THIS?! It’s been hard to swallow.
But, then I got thinking.
Doesn’t Hashem do the same thing for us all the time? He gives us income, which we attribute to our own hard work, then when we give tzedakkah, we expect "thanks" for it, in the form of more good in this world. We’re given good health, but take credit for ourselves, through our diets, exercise, or our natural metabolism. Yet, do we acknowledge the One who gave this gift to us? We are given families, we are given comforts, we are given many good things, and we refuse to look a little closer and acknowledge the good that we have received is something we have RECEIVED. Yeah, we did a "few phone calls," but really, when you look at things carefully, in many cases, you can see the Hand of Hashem involved.
Just a little thought the crossed my mind.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!