Remain Sedated or Get Persuaded
I will ordain my blessing for you in the sixth year and it will yield a crop sufficient for the three year period. (Lev. 25:21)
The Midrash states that one who does not till his fields during the Shemittah (seventh) year is a mighty warrior. God bestows blessings of bounty upon such an individual: in the sixth year his field produces enough food to last for three years - the sixth, seventh and eighth years. Why is the farmer considered a mighty warrior if he has plenty of food for himself and his family?
Daniel walked into a suit store and tried on a few different suits, but the prices exceeded his $300 budget. Also, he could see nothing he particularly liked, so he headed for the door. On his way out a salesman said, "Hey, wait a minute! We'll find you something just perfect." He brought over a suit that Daniel had already tried on, but Daniel agreed to try it on again. The salesman looked at him and said, "Wow, this suit looks really good on you. It fits like a glove. You look really slick!"
Daniel took a look in the mirror and started to think, "Two minutes ago I didn't like it, but now it's starting to look really nice." He asked the salesman the price.
The salesman told him, "It's $400." After a pause, he added, "Listen, this suit is made from the finest materials; you won't find this anywhere else..."
Five minutes later Daniel walked out of the store with a big smile thinking he had bought the nicest suit in town… Even though everyone knows that salesmen are just trying to make a sale, we are still easily convinced by them.
In the sixth year, when a person's field produces three times the normal amount, the evil inclination comes knocking on his door and says, "You have an incredible field. In one year it produced three times the normal amount. Next year you'll work the field and then it will produce 3 times the amount as well! Before you know it you'll be rich! To stop working your field now for a full year would be extremely foolish." Deep down the person knows that his field produced so much because of the Torah's promise, but the evil inclination sounds so convincing. Someone that can overcome such a challenge is a mighty warrior! (1)
Human beings are very easily influenced and affected by surroundings and peer pressure. We change our minds from one minute to the next. A strong person is one who sticks to his convictions; he does what he knows deep down to be the truth, and doesn't buy into the media's views or beliefs. He doesn't get swayed by others!
1. Rav Aharon Kotler (heard over from Rav Yaakov Eliezer Schwartzman).