Good morning! The winner of the awesome Classroom Friendly Supplies’ pencil sharpener is Julie Weinstein! Julie, check your inbox; you have an email from me. :-) Can’t wait to hear what color you choose and what you think of it.
Well my friends this is it… ready or not, here we go to crown the King… Rosh Hashana is upon us! It’s pretty exciting actually. So before we take a break for the Chag, I wanted to share a beautiful story that I heard last week, again at the Shabbat table ;-). I love stories, can you tell? Listen to this…
There once was a Polish Chassid, a well-to-do businessman, who every morning in shul would stand at the bima and shout out, “Emunah, Simcha, Bitachon!” (Have Faith, Joy, and Trust in Hashem!) This went on for years, every single day. Everyone grew used to his idiosyncrasy, and so it was.
One day, the well-to-do businessman lost everything – his warehouse went up in flames, and he was left without a business. Nothing!
The next day at shul, however, like clockwork the businessman exclaimed “Emunah, Simcha, Bitachon!” in the same tone as always… no trace of evidence that this man was going through a very challenging situation.
An elderly man sitting at the back of the shul drew near and admiringly remarked, “All these years, you have been blessed with everything. Thus, one could understand your attitude towards Hashem. But now, facing such a perilous situation, your faith and positive attitude seem to remain strong as ever. Now, I’m impressed!”
So the businessman explained his attitude with the following example:
According to the Shulchan Aruch (the Code of Jewish Law), the Silent Amida (literally, the standing prayer) should be said only while standing, not sitting. But what about if someone is neither sitting nor standing. What about leaning? Is one allowed to say the Silent Amida while leaning on something?
The Shulchan Aruch answers that if, while leaning, one would fall were the object pulled out, then this leaning is not allowed. But if, while leaning, one would not fall were the object pulled out, then such “leaning” would be allowed.
This teaches a powerful lesson: leaning only leads to falling if you’re fully dependent on the object you’re leaning on. In my case, I may have lost everything; my business, and wealth have been pulled out from under me, but since I was never truly leaning/dependent on these, I can still wholeheartedly proclaim “Emunah, Simcha, Bitachon!”
Pretty powerful, right? How many of us can truly say that we could stand firm in our Emunah, Simcha, and Bitachon if G-d forbid certain things were taken away (even if only temporarily) from us? Difficult question right? I’d love to hear your thoughts. It’s definitely something to ponder as we enter the Yamei Norayim (Days of Awe) and re-evaluate and re-establish our relationship with G-d Almighty.
May you all be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life, and have a Shana Tova Umetuka… a sweet year full of only revealed good, standing tall!!!