Minute #603: Pick Me Up

“If I were in your position, I’d give Rabbi Nissim a call,” Mrs. Spitz suggested. “He was recommended to me when I was recovering from my personal trauma and I certainly felt more relieved after our meeting.”

“I don’t know if that’s the answer,” Mrs. Fischoff said. “I’m not in a talking mood right now. I prefer solitude.”

“I can understand,” her friend agreed, “yet I feel that he’ll understand you and make you feel better. Give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose except your depression.”

“Why should he be different from all the others who’ve tried and failed?” Mrs. Fischoff asked.

“Trust me, he is,” Mrs. Spitz said as she handed over the Rabbi’s contact information.

Rabbi Nissim loved people, but the secret of his success was more than his caring nature. He saw the value of each individual and he knew that when people are suffering physically or from an emotional trauma, they begin to lose faith in their own worth. They develop a “loser” mentality and feel that they can’t measure up to the good qualities of others around them. Rabbi Nissim developed the skill of making his time spent with others a positive experience for them.

You, too, can lift the spirits of other people. False consolation or dishonest flattery won’t work. Honest compliments — true reminders to others of their worth and qualities — will lift their spirits to “feel good” levels once again. Learn the technique and they’ll feel happy that you met.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

[The Gemara Makkot 24b describes Rabi Akiva and his colleagues visiting Har Habayit after the Destruction. The scene of desecration brought the Rabbis to tears, yet Rabi Akiva laughed.]

Rabi Akiva saw what they saw, but he also saw what they didn’t see. The greater the tragedy, the greater the future rejoicing.

…by the very depth of the tragedy, G-d showed how great would be the future. Rabi Akiva laughed with confident joy. …

After more than nineteen centuries of fall, may Mashiach, born on Tishah b’Av, finally come to redeem the buried holiness of this day…

(Rabbi Nosson Scherman, Megillas Eichah, “An Overview,” p. xlix)