GOOD MORNING! Thank you for your patience! Two weeks ago I promised some excerpts from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin's latest book, Patience (available from your local Jewish book store or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242). Here are two chapters that I find helpful:
THE FIRST PIECE OF WISDOM (CHAPTER 3)
What is the very first piece of wisdom cited in Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot, found in the back of many Jewish prayerbooks)? It is to be patient when judging. This speaks volumes for the importance of patience.
A judge who is called upon to render a decision needs to obtain a thorough picture of a situation. The reality of a situation can be very different from what it appeared to be at first. The more information that is gathered, the more likely that an accurate judgment will be reached. This process takes patience.
What is true for judges is true for all of us.
We are all judges when it comes to judging other people in our minds. Before judging someone negatively, ask yourself, "Have I gathered enough data to be certain that my judgment is accurate?" The answer will usually be, "No." Be patient. Don't pass judgment until you have gathered all the relevant information. Even someone who is very patient will not always have enough time and energy to do this sufficiently. Those who lack patience will inevitably make many mistakes.
My teacher, the late Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz, Dean of the Mirrer Yeshiva, used to say that we are all judges when it comes to judging our words and actions. Every time we make a decision we will be having an effect on our future actions and on our present character. This will eventually affect the lives of others. Should I take this action? Should I go there? Should I say what I am about to say? Be patient when making your decisions. Think first. Weigh the data carefully. Your patience in making these judgments is a wise move.
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Rabbi Pliskin's idea (below) of accepting the Almighty's will is very important. Some people will misunderstand and think that they are abdicating their free will to make things happen. Wrong! After making your every effort, what happens happens. What is is. Now, do you get frustrated because it didn't turn out your way? No! You appreciate that the way it turned out is for your benefit and your job now is to find the meaning in it and the lesson for growth. Life is an adventure. A meaningful adventure. Look for the meaning in what happens.
THE ULTIMATE PATIENCE FORMULA (CHAPTER 6)
The ultimate formula for mastering patience is: "Make the Almighty's will your will." Those who internalize this will automatically and spontaneously be patient. Repeat this message to yourself over and over again. "I will make the Almighty's will my will."
- "If it's the Almighty's will that I need to wait for someone, that is my will."
- "If it's the Almighty's will that I need to repeat myself, that is my will."
- "If it's the Almighty's will that I need to wait until I find out some information, that is my will."
- "If it's the Almighty's will that something takes much loner than I was hoping it would, that is my will."
You now have a free biofeedback machine that will alert you when you need to increase your acceptance of the Almighty's will. When your body's muscles tighten with impatience, that is a message that you need to increase your level of acceptance. Be grateful for the tension serving as a coach. Express your appreciation to the Creator for giving you this wonderful gift.
If you do not yet feel that you have mastered the skill of accepting the Almighty's will, try doing so for one hour each day. During that hour, whenever the Almighty decides that events will turn out differently than you would have wished, say to yourself, "Since this is the Almighty's will, it is now my will." When you experience the benefits of doing this for an hour a day, it will be easier for you to increase the daily amount of time.
Portion of the Week
This week's portion includes further job instructions for the Levites. Moshe is instructed to purify the camp in preparation for the dedication of the Mishkan, the Portable Sanctuary.
Then four laws relating to the Kohanim are given. The Mishkan was erected and dedicated on the first of Nissan in the second year after the Exodus. The leaders of each tribe jointly gave wagons and oxen to transport the Mishkan. Then on each of the twelve days of celebration and dedication of the Mishkan, successively each head of a Tribe gave gifts of gold and silver vessels, sacrificial animals and meal offerings for use in the Mishkan.
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states, "The one who brought his offering on the first day was Nachson, son of Aminodov, of the tribe of Yehuda" (Numbers 7:12).
During the twelve days of the dedication of the Tabernacle, the heads of the twelve tribes each brought an offering. Although the offerings of the leaders were the same, the Torah repeats each gift with all of its details. The Torah never uses an extra word or letter unless it is coming to teach us a lesson about life. What lesson can we learn here?
The Ralbag, a 14th century French Biblical commentator, teaches that the lesson from each prince bringing the same thing is to teach us that we should not try to outdo another person in order to boast or feel superior to him. We should keep our focus on the accomplishment, not on our egos.
The goal in spiritual matters is to serve the Almighty, to grow as a person and not to seek honor or to compete with anyone else. Competition has its motivating factor, but one-upmanship has no place in fulfilling Torah principles.
CANDLE LIGHTING - June 1:
(or go to candlelighting.org)
Guatemala 6:10 Hong Kong 6:45 Honolulu 6:51
J'Burg 5:05 London 8:49 Los Angeles 7:41
Melbourne 4:52 Miami 7:50 Moscow 8:43
New York 8:03 Singapore 6:50
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
It is more important to live
than to outlive.
-- Ernest Hemingway
Dedicated by...Congratulation on the Marriage of
Amy Weingarden and Michael Jellson
Grandpa Earl Pertnoy