Minute #517: Changes

The only thing in this world that doesn’t change is Torah. Perhaps we may see its beauty and wisdom from a different perspective, but the Torah itself is eternal and stable.

Life, however, is forever changing. Hashem created a world in which the weather changes constantly right before our eyes. Day turns to night and seasons transform the landscape. We see living things grow and age. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

These continuous alerts from Above should make us ready for change and better able to accept and handle the vicissitudes of life. Many, however, become upset — even disoriented — when forced to make changes. A person who changes jobs and can’t find the coffee station feels uncomfortable. A man who moves to a new home and first enters a different synagogue is nervous and unsure about where to sit. He may look for a sefer and realize the shelves of the new beit midrash are arranged in a different order.

How should one confront inevitable changes?

One should get excited about the freedom that one’s new situation offers. Being fired from a job is an opportunity to look for a way to earn a living that one likes rather than one needs. A new beit midrash offers opportunities to learn a different subject with new people in a more interesting way. Change is an opportunity to improve one’s lot in life.

A friend of mine was extremely upset that circumstances forced him out of a business location where he had built up a decent reputation and lucrative trade. After numerous doors slammed in his face while he looked for another way to earn a living, a totally new venture became available. It was closer to home, with less work time. The result is a happy man with greater profits in a better working environment. Change is freedom to establish a new success.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

The great task of assisting husbands to become talmidei chachamim and raising children to grow up to be bnei Torah is far from mundane. The routine aspects of this great task should not fool us into belittling its importance. (Harav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, On the Torah Home, p. 125)