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Arie's Story

A very good hiding place

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Many years ago, the houses and most furniture was made out of wood. This meant that in case of fire, it spread very quickly. Once in a village, someone forgot a lit candle on a table. At some point, the candle fell and started a fire. Before long, the house and all the neighboring houses were on fire. The villagers noticed it and ran to put it out, stopping all their occupations. Thank G-d, they put out the fire before the whole village was burnt. 

One neighbor who was there, seeing the walls of his house on fire, ran for safety. While running, he saw a safe place and wanted to get in. But he was a big man and the place was small. Desperate though to save himself, he squashed himself and managed to get in. When the fire was over, he wanted to get out but did not succeed. He shouted for someone to help. Fortunately one of the villagers heard him and helped him to get out. Then he asked him: “How did you get in there?” He answered: “Because I really wanted to get in, I managed”.

This teaches us that with willpower, and even with willpower only, we can overcome all our obstacles.

The beggar who played the lottery

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In a small town, there was a beggar that decided to try his luck and bought a lottery ticket. Finally, he won a very big sum. When a friend asked him what will he do with all the money he won, he answered: “I will build a big synagogue and I will be the only one who will have the right to beg inside!”

This is a story that I heard from my father, Rabbi Mendel Hendel, in situations where he wanted to emphasize that we sometimes put limits to our own selves!

G-d gives us all the capabilities and powers in order to be able to fulfill whatever He asks from us. But many times, we limit our way of thinking and do not allow ourselves free to see things from another perspective.

Shabbat Shalom,

Arie from the Yeshiva

I'm just asking for a friend!

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There was once a Jew who had sinned and wanted to do Teshuva, in other words to come back and repent. This is why he wanted to ask his Rabbi what he should do. But he was ashamed to tell the Rabbi about his sin. So when he went to the Rabbi, he told him he was asking on behalf of a friend who was ashamed to come. The Rabbi understood the situation and answered him: “This is very simple and easy! Let your friend come himself and say he is asking for a friend”.

It is often difficult for us to face our actions. We prefer to forget and not allow anyone or anything to remind us about them. But the real and right way is to admit our sin and understand our mistake. Then, we need to take a good decision which will help us not do it again in the future.

Finally, we need to remember that we are humans and not angels and this is why we are not perfect. Our sin should not disturb us to the point that it will be an obstacle to our everyday life and our service to G-d.

Shabbat Shalom,

Arie from the Yeshiva

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