When little boys fight there’s no easy solution, even if the argument is over something insignificant.
“It’s not fair, Mom!” Yosef whined. “I got it first!”
“He always takes what’s mine and says he got it first!” Menasheh argued.
“Boys, please stop fighting,” Mom pleaded. “There’s more where that came from. Share what you have now, and tomorrow we’ll get some more.”
Surprisingly, the boys accepted their mother’s proposal and the house quieted down — for a while.
Disputes arise over the misconception that there’s a limited supply of desirable possessions and there’s not enough to go around. People grab for themselves, thinking, “If I don’t get this one, perhaps I’ll miss out completely.”
Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, repeated many times that if you need something — anything — you should ask Hashem to fulfill your desire. Should Hashem give you what you requested and you realize you want more, “Ask Him again — He’s got plenty!” was Rabbi Miller’s advice.
Our Sages teach that all wars are fought over bread. When three people eat together they are required to recite zimun — an invitation to thank Hashem for the food that was consumed. One says, “Let us bless that we have eaten from His bread.” The others answer, “Blessed that we have eaten from His goodness.” The three have shared a meal. Each ate from serving platters or perhaps each was served a portion. Before one can bless the Provider, one must acknowledge that He provided for all and no one took from the other’s portion.
We should not look upon someone else’s portion — of anything — with jealousy. Instead, we should look up and acknowledge, “There’s more where that came from.”
One More Second: Another Thought For the Day
… even if a person holds on to his sin, Hakadosh Baruch Hu doesn’t hold on to His anger. Should He remain angry, it is not forever; instead, He will nullify His anger even if the sinner does not repent. We find in the days of Yeravam ben Yo’ash (Melachim 2, 14:26) that Hashem reinstated the original borders of the land while the people were still worshipers of idols … Hashem patiently waits, hoping “perhaps they’ll repent.” (Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, Tomer Devorah, Chapter 1)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world.