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The beggar who won the lottery - Ekev

Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 - 11:30 am

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A beggar was once asked what he would do if he won the lottery. He answered immediately that he would build a very special synagogue: a synagogue where only he would have the right to collect money!

We may give money to a beggar but it’s much more difficult to change the way he thinks…

In this week’s Parasha Ekev, Moses describes the desert that they have to cross in order to get to the Promised Land as “great and terrible”, full of snakes and scorpions… The Desert symbolizes our exile, until Mashiach comes.

Many people think that the world around us is something important and significant. That we need to take into consideration the opinion of others when we make decisions. That an important criterion in choosing what to do is how popular it is: if something is popular, then we should do it and if not, why should we be the only ones to do it? We may not have enough self-confidence to do what we think is the right thing.

 

We will not go far with this way of thinking. Because somehow, following what is popular and common, the different personality and unique identity of each person gradually get lost. We become all similar, identical to others.

 

In order to get out of our exile, we need to change our way of thinking. To think freely! The Desert that we need to cross in order to get to our Promised Land is not “great and terrible”. In other words, the “world” doesn’t have the great importance we give it. G-d has chosen us for a certain purpose and has given us the strength to do the right thing.

Even if we are the only ones in our circle who devotes time to study Torah, even if we are the only ones in our family who does not eat dairy with meat, even if we are the only one in class who does not cheat during the exams, even if we are the only ones in the neighborhood who takes recycling seriously, this should not deter us.

May we speedily change our way of thinking and may G-d take us out of exile, bringing us Mashiach who will free us from all our problems and worries.

Shabbat Shalom!

Hanna

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