Minute 724: If Only…

“You’re dreaming,” Mr. Schattner said. “It’s just not going to happen, so I suggest you do your best and move on.”

“Why can’t I strike it rich like some of our classmates at the reunion?” Mr. Jacobs said. “They weren’t smarter than us in school, and now they’re financially set.”

“Although they have something you don’t, each lacks something else that you may have. Everyone has needs,” Mr. Schattner said.

“If only… Never mind. Maybe you’re right,” Mr. Jacobs said. “Let’s have lunch.”

From the greatest among us to the simplest individual, everyone yearns for what he doesn’t possess. When Yaakov Avinu woke up from dream of the ladder, he asked Hashem for four things. The Midrash says that Hashem granted only three, saying, “If I guarantee all of daily needs, he won’t turn to Me for assistance.”

When Hashem created the world, he left each creature in need of something. The human being is a spiritual soul with a physical body. Each person is expected to develop his/her awareness of Hashem to the maximum extent possible. In order to accomplish this great feat, everyone was created with imperfections, or needs. One must turn to Hashem to ask that He provide whatever it is that one needs. For some it is better health; for others it is parnassah or maybe a mate to share life’s ups and downs. One’s needs are actually a way to turn one’s attention in the direction where it must focus — towards Heaven.

“If only” is not a problem; it’s a solution. One must build a relationship with Hashem, and asking for one’s needs is a tool available to everyone for that purpose.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

Even if a doctor says there is no chance of recovery, one should not despair. There is an extremely large number of cases when doctors have given up hope, nevertheless the patient recovered. While it is irresponsible to disregard reliable medical advice when something practical can be done, doctors are only human and are fallible… even when the situation is bleak they [doctors themselves] should realize that while we cannot rely on miracles, medical miracles do occur. (Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, Gateway to Happiness, p. 377)
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.