Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Obvious Lessons

This morning I woke up to snow... expected, but still not welcome so early.  Nice, heavy snow; good upper body workout.  I got the sidewalk cleared, then went to learn and daven.  I hurried out to skedaddle (did you know that word shows up in spell check!?!) out to catch my bus to the Brown Line to get to work as on time as possible.  Aargh...  it had snowed more while I had been doing HaShem a favor by learning and davening (k'vasiken, yet)!  To demonstrate my annoyance, I spent extra time clearing off every corner of the windshield and back window; I know how to get my point across, after all.  Now I was late getting home, so I was late leaving for the bus.  So.. I was ½ block from the corner when I saw the bus go flying past.  I thought, "Wow!  What crazy hashgacha!  Obviously if I had not spent those few seconds to show my (quite unreasonable) annoyment, I would have made the bus.

I had the next few minutes waiting for the bus to let that soak in as I opened my Mishna Brura.  I got to the train station and the train pulled away just as was walking up to the ramp... more proof.  I found a seat on the next outgoing train and sat down to learn.  With all those extra minutes of waiting, I was able to finish all the Mishna Bruras, Biur Halachas, and Dirshu additions on two complete pages; a good amount learned and at a perfect stopping place, I even finished the last word on the page as the train came to a stop.  I thought to think, "Wow!  What crazy hashgacha!  Obviously the delay worked out perfectly!"  Wait... so I was being rewarded for being unreasonably annoyed?

I think it is great that a Jew decided to be more observant and decided not to take a flight on Shabbos.  I think it is spectacular that there was one less Jew on the plane that, rachmana latzlan, crashed.  I think it is amazing if he decides that HaShem is telling him that he should keep Shabbos, so he'll start being more observant.  I have news for him, though... HaShem wanted that before the plane crashed also; in fact, HaShem has been wanting that for the last 3,300 or more years.  As far as all of us learning a lesson, though, I am skeptical.  First, what about the thousands of Jews who, rachmana latzlan, do fly on Shabbos and nothing, Baruch HaShem, out of the ordinary happens to the flight.  Second, Mordechai himself -- right in the middle of the whole Purim episode -- told Esther that he didn't know, but maybe she was queen so she could be the one to save Klal Yisrael.  Maybe?  Modechai had ru'ach hakodesh and was at the middle of the storm of events; maybe, he says?  If Mordechai didn't know with certainty, then who am I to say what any event means?

I'll tell you something that does give me tremendous chizuk and is convincing evidence to me that HaShem cares about me and wants the best for me, though.  I wake up.  That blows me away every day (so far).  So much so that when people at work ask me how I am doing, I respond, "I woke up!  With a start like that, everything else is gravy!"


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Our Job Is השתדלות/Endeavor with All One’s Resources, Not Results

Forrest Gump is a sweet movie from the last century about a relatively clueless -- though quite loveable -- fellow who triggers several history changing/making events of the 20th century.  He also amasses a considerable fortune due to fortuitous stock purchases and business investments.  A model for success, no?

No.  In every event, every stock transaction, and every business investment... our relatively clueless -- though quite loveable -- protagonist is completely passive and simply the beneficiary of good/dumb luck/karma/being at the right place at the right time.  It is not that he is a bad role model, nor a role model for something bad.  He is just not a role model.  Like an ice cube in a glass.  When the glass is empty, the cube rests on the bottom.  When the glass is filled with water, the ice cube bobs to the top. The ice cube is neither good nor bad; it just is.

I recently saw an incredible back story about events leading up to the (long overdue and very much appreciated) rel…

Thought for the Day: Jewish Marriage is a Spiritual Re-Unification

I saw a quite distressing article entitled: "My husband’s Orthodox Jewish family pressured us to call off our wedding."; just to drive home the point, a subtitle was added: "I thought parental disapproval of marriage was a problem of the past. I was wrong."

Why are we so, so ...  well... orthodox and unbending in our refusal to allow the slightest change or breach in this ancient taboo?

Here's what's it's not.  It's not about similar culture, thus easing the integration of two people's lives -- including all their family and extended family.  It may not be easy for a Jew from Flushing, NY to integrate his life with a Jew from Irvine, CA; not a Jew from Sweden with a Jew from Egypt.  Surprise!  Marriage is not designed for nor meant to be easy.

It's also not about having a shared experience about customs.  A S'fardi (of Spanish/African/Turkish descent) Jew from Israel and a Chassidic (of eastern European descent) Jew from have customs as …