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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Looking for a sign from G-d?


Rosh Hashanah 3

Today’s Life Yomi has been dedicated by Joel Reboh in honour of his wife Tsipora's birthday.  Till 120 in good health!

It’s a tough job market out there today and most people would be happy to have any job offer, but Cindy was lucky enough to have received two.  Her husband Dave runs an online company and can work from anywhere.
“Rabbi, what do you think, should we move to Nashville or Miami?” she asked.
“Well, I think that Miami would be better for your kids’ Jewish education,” I said to her.
“Yes, we realize that, said Cindy, “but we’ve been getting a bunch of signs that maybe Nashville’s the right choice.”
“Signs?  Praytell!” I inquired curiously.
“Well, it’s really weird, you’re going to think I’m crazy, rabbi.  But I’ve recently started loving country music!”
“That is interesting,” I replied, “What else?”
“I know it doesn’t mean much, but Dave’s favourite author lives in Nashville.  His dream is to meet him.  Do you think G-d is telling us to move to Nashville, Rabbi?”

The Torah states: “And the Canaanite king of Arad heard . . . and he attacked Israel.”
What did he hear?  The Talmud explains that he heard that Aaron had died and the Clouds of Glory that were protecting the Israelites on all sides had disappeared.  He took it as a sign that he had been given permission from G-d to attack Israel. 

The Almighty sends us signs throughout our life to remind us that He’s watching over us.  But it’s important not to get led astray by false signs.

How do you know what’s a real sign from G-d and what’s a false sign? 

G-d won’t send you a sign to do the wrong thing.  He has given you the incredible blessing of free choice and a brain to make the right choice.   So if you think that you are seeing a sign to do the wrong thing, it’s not a sign from G-d, it’s a test to see whether you’ll make the right choice.

Sometimes we create our own signs when they are not really there at all but we want them to be there.  The Canaanite king of Arad wanted to attack the Israelites and so he saw the disappearance of the Clouds of Glory as a sign that he should proceed. 

G-d wants you to make a rational decision using your gift of free choice.  Making life decisions based on your daily horoscope or random things that happen in your life is not what G-d wants.   All other things being equal, Cindy and Dave should move to Miami if that will provide better educational opportunities for their children.  Love of country music is not a reason to move to Nashville! 

So when can you trust signs? 

You should only trust a sign once you have made your own decision completely rationally and for the right reasons.  At that point, if G-d sends you a sign, it is a mark of His approval, confirming that you made the right choice.   Signs are His way of smiling down and shining His countenance upon you.   


May you always make the right decisions!  May you give every option due consideration and make the sensible choice in life!  And may the Almighty subsequently provide you with the signs you seek to confirm you have made the right decision!  

Life Yomi dedications don’t cost a penny!  To dedicate a day of learning in honour of a birthday, anniversary or yortzeit, all you need to do is commit to sending the Life Yomi of the day (or another Life Yomi teaching of your choice) to 18 (chai) people!  You needn’t provide us with the names of recipients; all we need is the honouree’s name and occasion.  For more details, please email rabbi@familyshul.org