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  • Torah Reading: Naso
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Sivan 2

The day is coming to a close. The sun is about to set. Let us enter into Your gates (Concluding Service of Yom Kippur).

Sometimes the first part of a typical day may be disappointing to us. A transaction that we had hoped for may have fallen through, a job that we had applied for was denied, or we turned in a poor performance on a test for which we had studied. Such negative experiences may depress us so much that the rest of the day is a waste; we simply do not have the energy or initiative to do anything.

While adverse occurrences certainly may be depressing, we should not allow them to affect us so profoundly.

The Chofetz Chaim encountered a person who had suffered a reversal and was complaining that the loss had so severely affected him that he was unable to get on with his life.

The Chofetz Chaim told him a parable of a young boy who was selling apples from a cart. Some hoodlums fell upon him and began running off with his apples. The boy stood there helplessly and cried. An observer said to him, "Don't just stand there crying! You will lose everything. Go ahead and grab as many apples as you can and run off with them too. At least that way, you will salvage something."

The Chofetz Chaim said, "If you allow this adverse incident to disable you, you will be adding to your losses. Go ahead and grab what you still can, and you will at least salvage something."

If the first part of our day does not go as we wished, we should try to salvage the rest of the day. By allowing ourselves to be paralyzed by whatever adversity occurred, we only add to our losses.

Today I shall...

try to avoid any emotional paralysis from unpleasant incidents and instead salvage whatever I can.

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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