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My Stolen Bicycle

Sep 19, 2012 at 04:18:04 AM

This year, I got a shock right before Rosh Hashanah.

My bike was stolen.

About a year ago I received a bicycle as a birthday gift. (My first one since elementary school!) It quickly became my main mode of transportation, as well as my primary source of exercise. I took it everywhere and loved it.

Last week I rode it to a meeting in Jerusalem, near the Old City. The meeting lasted only two hours, but when I came out my bike was totally gone – no helmet, no lock, no trace remaining.

It was a real shock and, after filing a police report, I had a long walk home to think about why this might have happened to me.

I realized that I'd been feeling a bit self-inflated about my bike. It just had a tune-up and I was feeling really great about it. Of course, there's nothing wrong with that – the Almighty wants us to be energized and productive.

But I was harboring a bit of self-pride about the whole thing. You know, "Aren't I so cool." And this was getting in the way of my building a relationship with God.

You see, a relationship with God starts with the recognition of His profound greatness. The more we see the unparalleled power of God, the more we put our human-ness into perspective. Arrogance gets in the way of that; humility enables it to happen.

Unfortunately humility has gotten a bad rap. Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is the recognition of our own place in the universe. By not letting our ego – our sense of "self" – get in the way, we can tap into our near-infinite Divine potential. As "the most humble of all men" (Numbers 12:3), that humility is precisely what made Moses the greatest of all time.

As Rabbi Noah Weinberg writes, the Talmud likens arrogance to idol worship: both push away the presence of God.

Rosh Hashanah is the key day of the year to forge a connection with God. So it seems that going into Rosh Hashanah, having my bike taken away was the dose of humility necessary to knock me down a notch… and make that deep "High Holiday" connection with God.

And there's more good news: My homeowner's insurance pays for a replacement.

Shana Tova!

Published: September 19, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 2

(1) Lisa, November 14, 2012 12:28 PM

So now how do you feel on your bike???

Your bike was stolen bc somebody wanted it. Things get stolen....that is why " do not steal" is one of the Top Ten. I don't think it was bc you thought you were " so cool." And frankly what's wrong with feeling a bit "cool." Doesn't it say in the Torah that we should always be samayach? Glad you got another bike... Enjoy it !!! Tb

rozanne, December 7, 2012 8:02 AM

Iagree totally

Maybe the thief needed it more . . . . . .

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