Minute #571: Yes, I Can!

Mr. Steinberg never thought he would be in this position. When he applied for the job, he had dreamed of being the candidate chosen, but never imagined the offer would actually materialize.

Only Monday, the HR executive had told Mr. Steinberg that, leaving his qualifications aside, the decision to hire him was prompted by Mr. Steinberg’s record of rising to the occasion in so many different situations.

Now, job offer in hand, he paced his den, trying to decide whether to accept or decline. The prestigious position offered a substantial raise in pay with perks and incentives. He had already discussed the question with his wife and friends, who unanimously felt it was a dream offer. The deadline to respond was tomorrow — and he was still undecided.

Why can’t I make up my mind? Mr. Steinberg wondered.

Long-term commitments create subconscious fear of failure. Even a person who demonstrates superhuman abilities in the short term finds difficulty committing for the long haul.

When the tribe of Levi was chosen for the lofty position in the Mishkan, Hashem told Moshe to “convince them”
to accept (Rashi, Bemidbar 8:6). These were the same people who had answered the call to “clean” the camp after the sin of the Golden Calf at great risk to life and limb. When the leaders who suffered the beatings of the Egyptians as officers of the Jews were offered the opportunity to serve as spiritual assistants to Moshe, Hashem told Moshe “convince them” to serve (Rashi, Bemidbar 11:16).

A long-term commitment is frightening. However, the best way to overcome doubt is to accept, all the while knowing that the “longterm” is an accumulation of short-term successes that are so much easier to achieve. Day by day is the successful way.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

… Another auspicious time to pray for our children is every morning when we say Birkas haTorah… we can plead every morning with Hashem that the Torah should be sweet for us and our progeny … We are asking Hashem that the study of a piece of Gemara should be enjoyable and not a burden … that learning should be a tasty part of our children’s day… (Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, Meaningful Living, p. 99).