19 Tamuz 5779 / Monday, July 22, 2019 | Torah Reading: mattot
 
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Forcing Us to Jump    

Forcing Us to Jump



For the first 30 years of my life, the possibility of poverty was never an issue. Throughout that time, I could never hold on to Hashem with all my energy…

 



Rabbi Yaron Reuven values his health every moment of the day. In one of his lectures, he says that every time he recites the blessing Asher Yatzar, thanking Hashem for a functioning body, he says it with the ecstasy of receiving a Divine gift.

 

I value livelihood. The blessing after eating bread is a sincere gratitude for Hashem pulling my family away from an unthinkable abyss. It's a prayer given from the heart, with emotion, connection, and joy.

 

Rabbi Reuven lost his health for 7 years. I lost my livelihood for 5. We value these blessings most because they were taken away. We experienced life without them.

 

When Hashem lifted my pain, I celebrated. To this day my prayers are a commemoration of the time Hashem took away our pain. They are a constant reminder of the agony that we don't feel today.

 

If I didn't lose so much for so long, thanking Hashem for bread would be a chore. Only now that I understand life without His bounty can I fully appreciate what it means to have it.

 

Is there something in your life that was missing? Is there something you can thank Hashem for with a passion that only you can truly fuel?

 

Like everyone else, there are things in life I wish were better. There are personal areas of pain I am working to heal. The knee jerk reaction is to feel frustrated. The ongoing emotion, without even thinking about it, is anger and resentment – especially towards those people who appear on social media and television and seem to have enjoyment where I struggle.

 

Hashem teaches us this important lesson. Had I not felt suffering over my livelihood, it wouldn't have ignited such a meaningful return to Him in this area of my life. Only after the pain, did the pleasure become such a catalyst to tell Hashem how much I love Him.

 

The pain becomes the blessing. It serves as the focal point for self-improvement, action, and repentance. The worse a situation in our lives, the more energy we invest in improving that situation. The more urgency we feel in coming to life and springing to action.

 

We don't act on the things in life that are just fine.  

 

The greatest blessings are where Hashem wakes us up. He forces us to jump where we wouldn't normally budge.

 

That may be why Hashem rewards the wicked to their end. The CEO of an adult entertainment website who has millions stashed under his silk mattress has no reason to change a thing. Each valuable moment to add another mitzvah to his eternal treasure chest is squandered into the abyss of his so called life.

 

We are commanded to thank Hashem for the seemingly bad as well as for the good. The good, because it is a free gift; the bad, because He gives us something far more precious: the chance to do something.

 

For the first 30 years of my life, the possibility of poverty was never an issue. Throughout that time, I could never hold on to Hashem with all my energy. The greatest time of growth Hashem blessed me with was when He took away my stable life and made me work to remain sea level.

 

I will forever be grateful to Him.

 

Rabbi Reuven talks about his career on Wall Street. He calls his rise from living on a dollar a day to building a $20 million company a blessing from Hashem. But he refers to his losing it all a Divine miracle. It was the downfall, that he termed "not normal or natural" which ignited his rise to true greatness.

 

Everything in our life that isn't the way we want is a gift from our Father. We just need to tear off the wrapping.

 

 

* * *

Dovber Halevi runs the website http://www.proudlycandid.com/. On it you can find 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel and the logistics behind How to Enjoy a Better Life in Israel.

 





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