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Beshalach- Think big

Friday, 26 January, 2018 - 10:16 am

There’s an old tale about a beggar, Shmeryl, who would go around town every day, knocking on doors, collecting money to feed himself before laying down for the night. What made his job even more tiring, was that in his town, the houses had many steps leading up to the front doors. This really took a toll on his already frail body. He would often complain about his predicament, but Shmeryl learned to accept his reality, and life went on.

One day, Shmeryl’s luck was shining. He purchased a ticket in the Lotto, and sure enough… Shmeryl had the winning ticket. Our beggar became an instant millionaire! “Now that I am wealthy”, Shmeryl shared with his friends that evening, “I will have much influence and others will listen to me. My first project will be, to establish a new law: No home shall be built with an entrance higher than three steps from the street. From now on, when I'm done with my rounds collecting money, I will never be so oisgemutchet (rung out)…”

Do we sometimes act like Shmeryl?

The Jews are finally freed from Egypt in this week’s Torah portion, after a century of horrible enslavement. Yet, throughout their journeying, when they encounter a bump in the road, we often hear of some pushing to go back to Egypt. But how could it be?! Who in their right mind would willingly return to subjugate themselves to sub-human living conditions and instantly give-up their basic dignity?!

This tells us a deep truth of human behavior; we sometimes are so entangled and boxed into the reality we have become accustomed to, that we prefer it over a better and greater reality we are unfamiliar with.

We must let go of what holds us back. We need to ask ourselves: What is really stopping me from taking a big leap in my personal life or in my Judaism? Is it just habit? We gotta think big!

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