Skip to main content
Accidents...

A boy here in Chicago a few days ago, a boy in Silver Spring yesterday. Crossing the street. It has to happen thousands and thousands of times a day. But these two boys didn't make it. They are in serious condition, and we all hope for a complete recovery. Regardless of the outcome, however, how will those drivers face themselves? Can they really be blamed? Busy streets, big cars... it is a recipe for disaster and we should really be thankful whenever we *do* make it across in one piece. But events of this type do and should remind us that ultimately, we are not in charge. There are thousands of factors that are not in our control. HaShem runs the world.

What about, though, when someone intends to damage us? Our attitude, says the Chovos Levavos, should really be the same. The Chovos Levavos says in Sha'ar haBitachon (The Gate of Trust) that we need to know that nothing, no person and no thing, can hurt us or help us even the smallest amount unless with the permission of HaShem. Sounds nice, but it certainly flies in the face of our every day experience. People hurt us all the time, and sometimes even with real intention to damage us, or our reputation, or even just to make our loved ones think less of us. People also help us, they encourage us, they can help monetarily; they can do us favors of all sorts So how in the world are we to accept and then live up to this Chovos Halavos?

The Chovos Levavos explains as follows: if HaShem decides that we deserve a punch in the nose, we are going to get a punch in the nose. If HaShem decides we are going to overcome a difficult trial, we are going to overcome that trial. And it will happen precisely at the moment and in the circumstances that are also decreed. And it will be appropriate for all of this who have to deal with it -- family, friends, doctors, neighbors, etc. The only thing that is left is to choose a shaliach (messenger) to carry out HaShem's decree. The messenger is chosen, says the Chovos Levavos, based on his desires. If someone wants to tell lashon hara, wants to damage someone in particular, or just wants to be reckless... then HaShem assigns him the job. If someone is loving and caring in general, or wants to help someone out with a job or other support, then he will be chosen for that job.

It comes out, then, that the one who helps or damages us is nothing but a tool in HaShem's hand. We really should not get angry, therefore, if someone hurts us. Of course, if someone helps us, we should thank them, just like one thanks a waiter who is just doing his job. But when someone hurts us? If anything we *should* also thank him, since the damage is a kapara for us. Aye... he wanted to hurt us? Ok... that is his problem. If we are up to it, we should really do anything we can to help them; after all, they were chosen for a very unpleasant task, and our hearts should go out to them.

The real bottom line: we should all strive to be to be kind of people that HaShem will choose for the pleasant jobs.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…