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Friday, 24 July 2015

Risk it all

Daf Yomi Nedarim 61


Our forefather Avraham had a good life in Ur Kasdim.  He came from a prestigious family, and was well-regarded by all.  One day, the Almighty said to him, “Go out from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I shall show you.”  And off he went.

Can you imagine?  Land, birthplace, father’s house.  Essentially, G-d is telling him to leave all of his comfort zones – the material, the physical, the cultural, and of course, the spiritual, and take that leap of faith into the unknown.  As we know, Avraham took that leap and the rest is history: he was blessed with unbounded prosperity in every area of his life, far greater than he had achieved or could have ever dreamed of achieving back in Ur.

Mishnah: If a person declared, ‘I vow to abstain from wine until the face of Pesach,’ Rabbi Meir says he is forbidden until Pesach arrives.  Rabbi Yossi says he is forbidden from wine until Pesach concludes.
The Rosh explains: “Face of Pesach” could imply one of three things.  Either it means the face of the first days, meaning until Pesach begins.  Or it means the face of the last days, meaning that he is permitted on the final days of Pesach.  Or it means the face of the entire Pesach, meaning until its conclusion.  Rabbi Meir avers that it means until the arrival, since the clearest expression of the face of Pesach is its arrival.  But Rabbi Yossi suggests that a person would allow himself to be forbidden by any potential meaning.
The Gemara proposes: Rabbi Meir maintains that a person would not place himself into a situation of uncertainty.  Rabbi Yossi believes that one would place himself into a situation of uncertainty.

At first blush, Rabbi Meir appears to make more sense.  Who wants doubt in their life?  We all seek and yearn for certainty.  Why would anyone intentionally place themselves into a situation of uncertainty, as Rabbi Yossi suggests?

The answer is that ‘commensurate with the risk is the reward.’  Sometimes in life, if you desire abundant reward, you need to take a leap into the abyss.  That was G-d’s message to Avraham.  ‘Get out of your comfort zone!  Take a risk.  Take a leap of faith.  And you will see that it was all worth it.’

Success comes from taking risks.  People who stay in their comfort zones remain mediocre.  A lot of people have good ideas, but the ones who become successful are those who are willing to give it their all to make it happen.  You may have built an empire in your mind, but unless you’re willing to take that leap and risk it all tangibly in the real world, it will never become a reality.

What’s holding you back from mega-success?  Are you just too comfortable in your current situation to take that leap into uncertainty?   Do you know what it would take to fulfill your dreams, but are hesitating to take the plunge? 

Maybe you dream of escaping your nine-to-five inertia and becoming your own boss.  Maybe you’re going from one relationship to another, never willing to take that leap into marriage.  Maybe the little voice inside is telling you to take the leap of religious faith to start keeping Shabbos.  Whether you’re yearning for material success, relationship success, or spiritual success, very often in life you must be willing to leap into the abyss and give it all you’ve got.


It’s time to leap out of mediocrity!  You can be everything Hashem destined you to be.  May you find the courage to risk it all and become the material, spiritual, and physical success you know you were meant to be!