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Iyar 4

Tongs could only be made by tongs (Ethics of the Fathers 5:8).

The Talmud states that God gave man the first pair of tongs, because it is impossible to forge a pair of tongs without already having another pair to hold the metal in the fire.

A wise man said that the way to really make an apple pie from scratch is to first invent the universe.

These ideas should be sobering thoughts for people who consider themselves self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency is obviously a myth; we all must rely on others, in varying degrees.

Many people find it hard to accept their dependency. They see it as demeaning and a sign of weakness. They may take radical measures to prove to themselves and to others that they can stand on their own two feet. This rejection of healthy dependency can give rise to many problems.

Certainly, being lazy and expecting others to do everything for us is wrong, but going to the opposite extreme and denying our need of both emotional and physical support is equally wrong. We should be able to accept our dependence upon others, and their dependence upon us, as a part of life.

Today I shall...

try to realize that absolute self-sufficiency is an impossibility. Rather, I will be able to accept appropriate help without considering it demeaning.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

May 21, 2009

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