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Sivan 4

It may be compared to a pearl which fell into the sand. [One sifts great amounts of sand, casting them aside until one finds the gem] (Rashi, Genesis 37:1).

During the Gold Rush, prospectors patiently panned water all day long just to wash out a few grains of gold. The great value of those particles motivated them so much that they were able to be patient with this otherwise endless, monotonous panning of water.

Sometimes we find ourselves impatient. We may be waiting a long time for something or enduring monotonous work. Our patience may be exhausted, and we may abandon the project.

We should ask ourselves what we are waiting for. If it has real value to us, then, like the gold prospector, we should not even feel the monotony.

Of course, if we are working to earn a living, the importance of our economic survival may overcome our impatience. If we are working towards spiritual goals, whose attainment is not as palpably vital to our survival, we may become bored more easily.

We must assign proper values to spiritual achievement. Like those grains of gold, it may appear only after we have worked long hours, gleaning it from the sand and water of everyday life. Solomon correctly stated that spiritual treasures will come only to those who seek them with the same diligence and perseverance as one who seeks material treasures (Proverbs 2:4).

Today I shall...

try to realize that the real values in life are spiritual treasures, and that I should persevere in attaining them.

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

Published: May 21, 2009

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