Where Every Jew is Family

Release of Medical Records


With each major candidate releasing their medical records to prove they are healthy, I believe it’s a lesson to us to have our own “check-up”.

In addition to the month of Elul, as mentioned in previous emails, being a time for an annual spiritual accounting, this weeks Torah portion ends with Moses telling the Jewish people that now they have “a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear.”

So we should be taking a look and seeing if our heart, eyes and ears are working properly.  But what does it mean?

Rashi explains that it means we recognize the kindness of Hashem and cleave to Him.  It’s not enough that we’re functioning well physically, as our politicians are so concerned about.  But how are we functioning spiritually.  Are we recognizing G-d?  Are we striving to be more G-dly?  That is a very important component to our health.

There is a story of a man who was poor, but always managed to help others when he could.  He would help them with his time, labor or even a few dollars when he had a little extra.

One day, he helped an old man who was passing through town.  It turned out that this man was a Chassidic Rebbe and in return for his kindness, the Rebbe gave the poor man a blessing to become wealthy.

Sure enough, the blessing became a reality.  Unfortunately, the once-poor man slowly became more and more miserly. When the Rebbe came through town a few years later, he was so disappointed to see what had happened.

He decided to visit and teach him a lesson.  The Rebbe went to the man’s house and was shown around.  “Quite a change you’ve made in your life,” the Rebbe said.  “Yes, quite,” replied the man.

Walking over to a window, the Rebbe continued, “Tell me, what do you see when you look out of this window?”

“I see, trees, the sky, my neighbors, their houses…”

“Interesting,” replied the Rebbe.  He walked over to a very ornate mirror and asked, “What do you see when you look in this mirror?”

“I see myself, my drapes, the furniture…” replied the man.

“Do you know the difference between the two?” asked the Rebbe. “They’re both made of the same glass, but the piece of glass that is plain is clear through and through, allowing you to see others and their lives. But when it is covered with silver, then you can see only yourself.”

Are our hearts and eyes functioning properly?  I’m sure there’s room for improvement. May we all recognize what’s good and right and cleave to G-d’s ways.

Have a great week!
Rabbi Yossi

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