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Sunday, 19 January 2014

How to Win the Lottery

Yoma 74

Today I thank G-d for making me a multi-millionaire.

The manna eaten by the Israelites for forty years in the desert had whatever taste the consumer desired.  If you wanted steak, it tasted like steak.  If you fancied caviar, it tasted like caviar.  Chocolate lovers?  You could have lived on chocolate for forty years.  And yet the Israelites were never satisfied.  Because it’s not the same when you eat something with your eyes closed as when your eyes are open.  At the end of the day, for all the taste opportunities provided by the manna, it still looked like the same old piece of bread that I ate yesterday.  And the day before.  And the day before that.  That’s why a master chef gets marked on their presentation – good food is just as much about great presentation.

In fact, says the Talmud, a blind person is never really satiated, because s/he can’t see what they’re eating.  In light of this, the Talmud suggests that a person aim to eat during the day, when they can see what they’re eating and be truly satisfied.

Think about it for a moment.  Not only can a blind person not see, they cannot even appreciate what they are eating!  Our senses penetrate far deeper than our surface needs.  Think about the emotional and psychological pain that a person with a physical disability endures throughout their life.  The employment discrimination, the way strangers treat the physically-challenged, the list goes on.

Now, imagine you were offered a million dollars to donate your eyes to science.  Would you do it?  How about your legs?  Ears? Hands?  If each of these faculties is worth a million dollars or more to me, then I should thank G-d every waking moment for making me a multi-millionaire!  I have the ability to see, hear, walk, smell, touch, taste – yes, says the Talmud, my eyes are critical to my ability to taste, not just my tongue! 

Today, with every breath you breathe, with every step you walk, with every morsel of food you place into your mouth, thank G-d for making you a multi-millionaire.  

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