13 Sivan 5779 / Sunday, June 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shelach Lecho
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The Game-Changing Phrase    

The Game-Changing Phrase

Whenever you're worried or in a predicament that you don't know the way out of, you can always fall back on this one game-changing phrase that will put you in the winner's circle…


What happens when we are thrust into a situation where our faith in G-d is put to the test? What happens if that situation stays with us for a long time? What happens when we are still stuck under water long after we have run out of breath?


Emuna is the spice of life.


Put it into any dish, and every bite you take becomes delicious. You can even take those vegetables you never liked, put the spice on it, and POOF! It instantly becomes something pleasantly digestible.


So how do we grind the plant to get the spice? I found a way. It's a concept that Rabbi Shalom Arush talks about repeatedly. An emuna person – a believer - has humility. He is able to annul everything he wants in favor of Hashem. All he wants is what Hashem wants.


That’s the key.


If it looks like I won't get a job today, or sell to a client, that's fine. This is what Hashem wants, so I want it too. If it looks like some of the people who have been harsh to me have just received a promotion, it comes from Hashem. It's not just good as if I am stating my opinion about a piece of art. I want it too!


We shouldn't say this about things Hashem gives us control over. Waking up late, putting in half effort towards our goals, sinning – these are not what Hashem wants. However, when we give it all we got to wake up on time, perfect our character traits in every situation, and perform every mitzvah we can, anything beyond is not in our domain. It's G-d's world.


What happens when everything beyond our efforts is what He wants? What happens when we concede to His desire?


Every situation in life that automatically evokes feelings of anger, resentment, sadness, hopelessness, even depression . . . now produces counter feelings of serenity, peace, joy, and strength.


For every action, we remind ourselves that Hashem personally participated. This is vital because if there is something in our lives that goes wrong, or something in the world that doesn't happen the way we feel it should, our gut reaction is to conclude that "G-d wasn’t here." We assume that because we think something bad, G-d, Who is all good, couldn't have anything to do with it. We unconsciously default to the assumption that G-d doesn't exist at this place for this moment.


Once we understand that this is exactly what G-d Desires, He is here. He is on top of this. He is watching over us. He returns to His natural place: Everywhere, and in our hearts at all times.


There is limitless comfort in knowing that G-d is as intimately involved with the things that go wrong in our lives, as He is in the things that go right.


When we build up an ability to be happy in any situation, we begin to chip away at our ego. Our pride begins to fall. We lose the ability to judge any situation as a reason to get upset. We follow Rabban Gamliel's message in Ethics of the Fathers (2:4). Make that His will should be your will, so that He should make your will to be as His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He should nullify the will of others before your will.


Love everything in His world and nobody can hurt you. In every situation, say this sentence to kindle the spark of emuna, and bask in the supernal flames of constant joy:


This is what G-d wants, so I want it too.


Even if a personal development or a development in your community, or the world is something you find utterly repulsive, gain comfort in knowing that if this is what G-d wants, you want it too!


Recognizing that everything comes from Hashem is its own reward.



* * *

Dovber Halevi runs the website www.proudlycandid.com. On it you can find 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel.

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