The little girl played happily with her doll. Looking very serious and responsible, the cute child dressed her “baby” and spoke softly to it as she put each little garment on the toy. Then she sat the “baby” in her high chair and acted out feeding time, encouraging the doll to “eat it all up because it’s so healthy!”
Her older brother came into the room and watched her for a moment. “It’s only a toy, silly!” he scoffed.
The little girl began to cry. “No, it’s not! It’s my baby! It’s my baby!”
Mom came to the rescue and made peace between the two. “Boys will be boys and girls will be girls,” she told herself after the children had calmed down.
The Chofetz Chaim once saw a little girl playing with her doll and commented, “What would happen if we hid this girl’s doll and after 20 years we returned it to her? Wouldn’t she laugh at us for believing a 25-year-old woman valued a doll?”
Most of the possessions a person accumulates in this world are things with no lasting value. They may be useful or they may provide comfort or entertainment, but their worth is fleeting. When we reach the World of Truth after a long, healthy life, there is a good chance we will become embarrassed when confronted by the Heavenly Court with a display of the things we considered important in this world. Our failure to maximize Torah study and mitzvah performance will be proven to be due to misplaced importance on things and activities of little value.
If you assess your deeds and reevaluate your standards of worth, you’ll avoid embarrassment in the World of Truth.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Showing another an unpleasant countenance is tantamount to onaat devarim (hurtful speech). The Torah has warned, “Each of you shall not aggrieve his fellow” (Vayikra 25:17), which means “that one should not say things to another Jew that will hurt him or cause him aggravation” (Sefer Hachinuch, 338). This (an unpleasant facial expression) is also hurtful and aggravating. (Harav Avraham Pam, Atarah LaMelech, p. 24)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.