In this week’s parsha, G-d says that we should afflict neither the widows nor the orphans, and then G-d says that His anger will blaze against anyone who does. But there is a catch.
G-d will get involved only if the widow or the orphan cries out to Him. If they are being afflicted by horrible people and the widow or the orphan goes to a corner and cries about their pitiful situation, G-d is not necessarily going to listen.
But it gets better. Rabbi Yisroel Brog expands on this to say that it is not just going on the widow or the orphan, but on ANYONE who cries out to G-d for help. Even if a wicked person cries out to G-d, G-d will hear his cries and answer him.
But it is only if the person cries out only to G-d. Why can’t a person rely on both G-d and someone else?
For the answer look at what happens in the workplace. If the boss gives just one employee a task, that employee knows that if he doesn’t work on the task, it won’t get finished. Therefore, assuming the employee is capable and responsible, the task will get done.
But what if the boss assigns the task to two employees? Even if both employees are capable and responsible, they can also just assume that the other employee will complete the job. After all, the boss felt that this other person was responsible. And if both employees feel the same, then the job won’t get done!
Similarly, if a sick person cries out to G-d for Him to heal him, but he also cries out to the doctor to heal him, G-d will say, “OK, you don’t need me right now since you are relying on the doctor.”
(This is not to say that sick people should not go to doctors. However, the sick person must realize that the doctor is just an agent of G-d, and not the ultimate source of his healing. Compare this with the words of the disgraced former governor of New York who took personal credit for bringing down the cases of COVID when he said “G-d did not do that.”)
When people rely exclusively on G-d for their salvation, G-d takes a personal responsibility to answer that person – regardless of who he is.