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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Do you have what it takes to win big?

Daf Yomi Sanhedrin 101

A man calls his Yiddishe Mama, “Mom, how are you?”
“Not too good,” says the mother, “I've been very weak.”
The son says, “Why are you so weak?”
“Because I haven't eaten in 38 days,” she replies.
The son responds, “That's terrible. Why haven't you eaten in 38 days?”
The mother answers, “Because I didn't want to have a full mouth when you called!”

“All the days of a pauper are bad” (Proverbs 15:15).
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi asked: But what about Shabbos and Yom Tov?
As per Shmuel, for Shmuel taught: A change of diet results in a tummy ache.
Rashi explains: Even poor people have delicacies on Shabbos.  But if they eat more than they are accustomed to, they could get sick.  Thus, even Shabbos and Yom Tov are bad for them.

What’s wrong with these poor sods?  After going hungry all week, they finally get a Shabbos invitation and are treated to a delicious meal; only to leave with a tummy ache!  Rabbi Yehoshua is teaching us an important lesson: Sometimes we get so caught up in a rut of negativity that even when we are blessed with good mazal, we allow the situation to become self-destructive. 

We’ve all heard stories of people who were struggling to make ends meet and then one day they win the lottery.  Overnight, they’re multimillionaires.  And then no sooner has the good fortune struck than it all comes crashing down.  There’s this sibling that won’t talk to them anymore because they won’t share their winnings.  Or that cousin who doesn’t like their new fancy-schmancy attitude.  And before long, they lose it all because they have no idea how to handle wealth.

I once knew a young lady who had a difficult childhood and was very bitter about her upbringing and past experiences.  Unfortunately she hadn’t had much luck on the dating scene either.  One day, she met a lovely young man and they began seeing one another.  The problem, however, was that she was still bitter.  She was so scarred by her past experiences that she couldn’t trust the new man in her life and treated him with the same contemptuous attitude she was so used to displaying.  Not surprisingly, it wasn’t long before he decided to move on.

So how do you ensure that when the time comes for the mazal to shine down on you, you have the right attitude?  The secret is to get out of the rut of negativity long before things turn around.  If you can train yourself now to find the positivity in even the most trying of situations, you will prosper in any and every circumstance.  Training yourself to give and share generously even when you consider yourself to be lacking, will guarantee your ability to handle the wealth when it does come.  Acting kindly and graciously with every relationship that comes your way will ensure that you say and do the right things when Hashem brings that special person into your life, whether that person is a future spouse, employer, or even just a friend.

Maybe Heaven hasn’t yet given you that aspect of your life you’ve been longing for.  But in the meantime, if you focus on all the wonderful things the Almighty has blessed you with, health, prosperity, relationships, you will be eternally grateful and happy.  May you be attitudinally prepared for the blessings that Hashem is getting ready to rain down upon your life!