19 Iyar 5779 / Friday, May 24, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bechukotai
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Patiently Waiting    

Patiently Waiting

A few days after his aborted suicide attempt, the bankrupt merchant got a message from the banks that there had been a terrible mistake - the bank owed him money...


A little while after Rebbe Nachman of Breslev had passed away; there was a wealthy man who suddenly lost all of his money. This man became extremely depressed at the turn his fortunes had taken. His condition worsened quickly and he decided that he was going to end his life by poisoning himself to death. Of course, he didn’t want to do that at home, so he decided to kill himself in synagogue instead, once everyone had gone home for the night, after the evening prayers.


He stowed his bottle of poison on top of a high shelf in the synagogue, and after everyone left the following night, he was groping around for the bottle when he accidentally pulled down the book that he had put the poison on top of - it was a copy of Rebbe Nachman's magnum opus, Likutei Moharan. In those early days, it didn’t say Likutei Moharan on the cover; it said “Never Give Up” printed in Yiddish on its cover.


This man was a holy Jew. He couldn’t ignore such an obvious message, so he re-stowed the poison away, and he went home to think about what had happened. That night, he had a dream, where he saw a young thin man with long side-locks - it was Rebbe Nachman himself. Rebbe Nachman told him that at the end of his short life, he was gravely ill with the Tuberculosis that ultimately killed him. As he was coughing up pints of blood on his deathbed, he pushed out his last words of Torah: "Never give up!"


He told the man: "Do you know who I was thinking of when I said those words? I was thinking of you! Now take my book, publish it and distribute it in as many places as you can and everything will be good."


A few days after his aborted suicide attempt and the dream, the destitute man got a message from one of the banks that he dealt with: there had been a glitch; they discovered that a sum of money was due to be returned to him. It wasn’t nearly his whole fortune, but it was enough for the man re-established his business. In a short time his wealth surpassed even what he had before; just think what would have happened if he'd believed the worst, and gone through with his suicide attempt…


This story underlines how very important it is for all of us to install the emuna belief system into our minds and in particular, the belief that we should never give up. Everything is possible for G-d! Emuna, your faith that G-d is good for everything, is what's going to affect your mortgage, your marriage, your tough situation with your kids, or your workplace challenge.


G-d is everywhere. He’s here right now!  And we can tap into Him any time we need to. But first, we have to believe that G-d can do anything, and that G-d can make what we need to happen, happen. Again, let's remember that we aren't going to get this belief system handed to us on a silver platter. We have to work very hard to get it, it doesn't come automatically. When we feel ourselves going down, that's the time that we have to work doubly-hard to believe that really, we're going up, and getting closer to G-d.


Each of us came pre-installed with a “microchip” of G-d within us, namely our soul. Since our soul is made from G-d himself we know that we are working with good material – really with the best stuff there is. When we work on shutting out everything that distracts us from G-d, this strengthens our emuna and reveals more of the soul within us. We can’t really begin to imagine what we're truly capable of, especially at the beginning of our spiritual fitness program.


But we have to go to the spiritual gym every single day, and workout by shutting out this world for an hour and asking G-d to give us more faith. Whatever our goal is, a person with emuna has no doubt that they are going to achieve it. They don't waste time and energy worrying about “how am I going to find the money for that down payment?' They tell themselves: “with G-d's help, I'm going to find it!”


When the Jews were stuck at the Red Sea, with Pharoah's army closing in on them from behind, Nachson ben Aminadav didn't waste time worrying over what was going to be. He believed that G-d could do a miracle for them! So he jumped into the sea, and kept walking until the water reached his nostrils - and then, G-d said: "That Jew really believes in Me! He really believes he's going to get a miracle! So let’s give it to him. Let's split the sea."


G-d is patiently waiting for us to show Him that we're committed and really want to believe in Him like Nachson did. Once we've reprogrammed our belief system so that we look at everything with the belief that G-d will do what’s best for us, then He'll certainly help us to achieve whatever healthy goals we've set for ourselves.



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We invite you to visit Dr. Zev Ballen's popular daily web journal Spiritual Coaching.

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