Growing Each Day by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Nisan 2
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This is the way of Torah: eat bread with salt, drink water by measure, and sleep on the earth. (Ethics of the Fathers 6:4)

Does observance of Torah require living a life of poverty and depriving ourselves of all the niceties of the world?

Certainly not. The Talmud is elaborating upon another Talmudic statement: "Who is wealthy? One who is content with his portion" (Ethics of the Fathers 4:1).

People who can be happy with the basics of life - food, clothing, and shelter - can truly enjoy the luxuries of life, because they can be happy even without them. Those whose happiness depends upon having luxuries are likely to be perennially dissatisfied, in constant need of more, and consequently unhappy, even if they have everything they desire.

A wise man once observed a display of various items in a store window. "I never knew there were so many things I can get along without," he said.

If bread and water can satisfy us, then we can enjoy a steak. If we are not satisfied unless we have caviar, we will discover that even caviar is not enough.

Today I shall...

try to be content with the essentials of life and consider everything else as optional.

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

 

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