18 Tishrei 5782 / Friday, September 24, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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In this upside-down world, G-d cloaks the most profound good in our lives in some sort of external "bad", as we'll see very clearly in the story of Meyer...


Do you remember Pharoah's dream of the seven “bad” cows that swallowed up the seven “good” ones but still looked gaunt and wasted? The Evil Inclination is still pulling the same stunt: it still wants us to think that all the good in our lives is swallowed up by all the seemingly “bad”, and that we don't have any blessings. It's a nice story - but it's just not true. Joseph had emuna, He used Pharoah’s dream to make the Egyptian economy the strongest in the world; he became the second in command to Pharoah, and he reunited his family after a couple of decades of being apart.


The same is true in our lives, as well. All the “bad” that the Evil Inclination is showing us is just a mirage, just a dream. Really, everything is good, beautiful and great. We should all merit finding the words of prayer that will enable us to plug into G-d's power and light, and to use that light to illuminate our own paths in life, and to light up the lives of others, as well.


In this upside-down world, G-d often cloaks the most profound good in our lives in some sort of external "bad", as we'll see very clearly in the following story.


I have a friend, Meyer, who most people would consider to be a tzaddik (a righteous person). Meyer already doesn't see any “bad” in his life, even though he's been through a very rough time, recently.


A few years ago, Meyer started a boys' school in a religious neighborhood in the US, because there was a big need for a school that could service all the different types of families in the community. Meyer had the energy, and the intensity, and the belief that the school was needed, and he knew that he had the skills to do it, so he went for it. G-d responded by making him a good messenger and the school thrived, and grew enormously.


So now, the school is an enormous success, and has some big donors supporting it. Everything's great - until after a few months, one of the main benefactors stops giving, because of his economic situation. The school now has a board of directors; it's got a fundraiser; all of the teachers are trained now. They are looking for a way to save money, and they decide to get rid of Meyer, the founder of the school, because they can't justify his salary any more. They fire him, and tell him that if he wants he can work for them as a fundraiser instead of running his own school. Meyer has 11 kids and bills to pay, but he just smiles when he gets the news.


Fast forward a few months, and Meyer is about to make Aliya. He's moving to Israel with his large family, and he doesn't yet have a definite job lined up. Something tells me that Meyer will do very well here. I don’t recommend this to everybody. But in Meyer’s case, he'll probably take a simple job to pay the bills, and then someone will ask him to partner with them, and start a school here. After all, he has the necessary experience and skills, and I just know that he will be enormously successful. How can I be so sure? Because Meyer himself is approaching the whole situation with the mindset that there is no bad!


From a strictly secular and financial perspective, things look terrible for Meyer: he's in loads of debt, and he's about to throw his whole family into a period of tremendous change and uncertainty by moving to Israel. But Meyer has plugged into the power of G-d, and he knows that he was thinking about moving to Israel for years, but he just couldn't bring himself to do it - and G-d also knew that! He sees everything that has happened as G-d pushing him to do something that he secretly wanted to do anyway. There is no question that G-d is going to reward Meyer's emuna and belief in G-d’s goodness with tremendous success.

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