"We will then arm ourselves quickly [and go] before the Children of Israel until we have brought them to their place…” (Bamidbar 32:17) 

Reuven and Gad requested that their inheritance be on the other side of the Yarden. They promised to help conquer Eretz Yisrael and only return home after all their brethren had received portions of land. Moshe answered (ibid. 20–22): “If you arm yourselves for battle before the L-rd…” and repeated their whole request before agreeing to it.

Why did he repeat the entire original request? (Rav Shalom Meir Wallach, Maayan Hashavua)

It should only have taken a minute. But I forgot the magic words.

My daughter Shoshi was going to America and I’d ordered her a SIM card so she’d have a phone there. The night before her flight, I sat down at the computer to activate her card.

But the card wouldn’t cooperate. Unable to process your request. Please try again later.

Six tries later, I dialed customer service.

Despite getting the shpiel that the call was not free of charge outside the United States, I was pretty sure the agent who answered me was not in the United States.

“This is Reyansh. How I can help you?”

I described my problem.

“No worry. One moment.”

One moment turned into two, then Reyansh passed me to Sai, who was a specialist in activating SIM codes.

“No worry,” Sai assured me. “One moment.”

But my worries were mounting as one moment turned into 40.

Every word in the Torah is precious — nothing’s superfluous. We learn from Moshe’s repetition that he added in a very crucial detail. The Name of Hashem. Reuven and Gad said, “We’ll arm ourselves.” Yet Moshe said, “You’ll arm yourselves before Hashem.” Moshe continued to add Sheim Hashem to their original words so they’d understand that only with the help of Hashem would they be successful.

Sai was polite. “Madame, I fix it. No worry.” But he too bowed out and sent me to the troubleshooting experts.

There Vihaan repeated the no-worry (be happy?) routine and put me on hold for their managing engineer. Apparently everyone on the staff was an expert in technology.

The managing engineer was very popular. I sat on hold for over an hour.

“You’re still on the phone?” My husband was incredulous. “Hang up already!”

“One more minute.” I was glassy-eyed by now.

He called customer service on his phone and soon we were both on hold with identical canned music playing from our speakerphones. It should’ve been funny, but I was chewing the tip of my eraser and he was pacing the room.

We weren’t Far East experts in patience.

There’s an important lesson here. We’re talking about a generation that witnessed miracles daily. Yet Moshe had to teach them to always voice their need for Hashem’s help.

How much more so in our generation. We need to say im yirtzeh Hashem and b’ezras Hashem. By articulating, we establish belief. As Dovid said in Tehillim 116:10: “I believed because I spoke.”

An hour turned into two and three. I kid you not. I spoke to Eric and Stacy. (English names — progress!) Both assured me that within minutes all my worries would be over.

Frustrated beyond belief, I asked Stacy to just replace the SIM card. She transferred me to the replacement specialist, Kathy. Unfortunately, Kathy couldn’t send me a new card without deleting the first, which she couldn’t delete because it wasn’t activated.

“Just give me a refund!”

“No problem. I’ll transfer you to refunds.”

I was biting my nails and seriously contemplating poking holes in my touch screen with the pencil I was rapidly chewing down to a stub when Shoshi opened my door.

“When I was a kid we called home once a week! From a pay phone! We didn’t have cell phones!”

Pathetic. I’d stooped to complaining like a clichéd fogey.

“I’m so sorry.” Shoshi felt terrible. “Im yirtzeh Hashem it’ll work out soon.”

“This is Derek. Can I help you?”

“I doubt it.” But I rattled off my problem for the umpteenth time.

“Don’t worry. One moment.”

And in one moment it was done. I had an activated SIM card. I hung up the phone, my fingers numb from three hours of clenching it.

“Derek did it,” I whispered in disbelief.

“Actually, Shoshi did it.” My husband hung up his phone gratefully. “She opened a direct line to the top expert.” (Originally featured in Family First, Issue 600)