GOOD MORNING! I want to share with you a piece written by humorist Erma Bombeck that contains much wisdom and good advice. She wrote it shortly before she died of cancer.
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a beautiful summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist G-d in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more "I love you's"... more "I'm sorry's".. but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute ... look at it and really see it ... live it ... and never give it back.
Life is short. We have so very few years ... we're supposed to figure out what it's all about and then make the most of it. And then it's gone. From a Torah point of view, we were created for pleasure -- the ultimate pleasure being oneness with G-d, emulating the Almighty in taking care of the poor, the needy and perfecting the world. Pleasure comes from going out of oneself to help others. The Torah is the instruction book for life ... it makes sense to read it. I recommend the Stone editon from Artscroll (available at Jewish book stores or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242).
Portion of the Week
This week's portion tells a story often repeated through history: The Jews become prominent and numerous. There arises a new king in Egypt "who did not know Joseph" (meaning he chose not to know Joseph or recognize any debt of gratitude). He proclaims slavery for the Jewish people "lest they may increase so much, that if there is war, they will join our enemies and fight against us, driving (us) from the land." (Anti-Semitism can thrive on any excuse; it need not be logical or real -- buy Rabbi Motty Berger's tape "Anti-Semitism -- Why Does Everyone Hate the Jews?" available for $10 from the Aish Audio Center, 4 Haven CT., Monsey, NY 10952 or call toll free to 800-864-2373.)
Moshe (Moses) is born and immediately hidden because of the decree to kill all male Jewish babies. Moses is saved by Pharaoh's daughter, grows up in the royal household, goes out to see the plight of his fellow Jews. He kills an Egyptian who was beating a Jew, escapes to Midian when the deed becomes known, becomes a shepherd, and then is commanded by G-d at the Burning Bush to "bring My people out of Egypt." Moses returns to Egypt, confronts Pharaoh who refuses to give permission for the Israelites to leave. And then G-d says, "Now you will begin to see what I will do to Pharaoh!"
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states, "And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the Nile, and her maidens walked along by the side of the Nile; and she saw the box (containing Moses) amongst the rushes. And she stretched out her arm and she took it." (Exodus 2:5) What lesson is there for us in her action?
Rashi, cites the Sages that Pharaoh's daughter's arm stretched out very long and she miraculously was able to save the infant Moses.
A number of communal activists were at a meeting which was headed by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the Rosh Hayeshiva of Lublin. The topic of the meeting concerned saving people's lives. There were some people at the meeting who said, "What needs to be done is simply impossible. There is no way that we could possibly be successful."
Rabbi Shapiro cited the Sages who explained our verse that a miracle happened to enable Pharaoh's daughter 's arm to stretch so far as to reach Moshe and save him. The question arises, "Why did she stretch out her arm in the first place? Didn't she realize that it was impossible for her to reach Moshe?" He replied that a person must always try to do everything he can to save someone. Even if you think that your efforts on behalf of others cannot possibly succeed, still make a sincere effort to try anyway. You will be surprised to find that you will frequently accomplish much more than you imagined. "This applies to us," said Rabbi Shapiro. "We must do everything we can even if we do not really believe that we will be successful. The Almighty often helps and the efforts put in prove to be fruitful."