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Lessons from Kodak

Thursday, 26 January, 2012 - 11:50 am

Eastman Kodak, the 131-year-old film pioneer that has been struggling for years to adapt to an increasingly digital world, filed for bankruptcy protection early Thursday morning, 1/19/12.Kodak, which in effect is responsible for the modern camera, missed the digital revolution.

Kodak's success in the camera business was due to it being first; it's willingness to try things that no one else was willing to try.

Where did Kodak go wrong? They were not willing to be the pioneers in the digital camera revolution. They gave into the temptation of waiting until others have tried and then imitated; it was too late :( - there goes an iconic brand. It's a 'Kodak moment' for soon it will be just a memory.

Historically, there was a man whose name was Nachshon Ben Aminadav. When the Jewish people were at the edge of the "yam suf" - sea of reeds, they were surrounded; Pharaoh and his armies behind them and the water before them. They did not know what to do. Hashem (G-d) had told them to travel forward yet, they were hesitant to do so. Only one man took initiative and jumped into the water. Nachshon forged into the deep waters until the water has reached his neck. Finally, as the water reached his nostrils, at the last possible moment, the Red Sea split (next weeks Torah portion) ….. Freedom at last.

Was it risky? Yes! However, he was not willing to wait for others to do what needed to be done. Nachshon's little act made all the difference and changed the destiny of the Jewish people for all time.

What risks are we taking? Are we leaving our comfort zones? What are we doing so the Jewish people don’t go the way of Kodak?

Men – Take on the mitzvah of Teffilin (Last verse of this week's Torah portion). For Jewish men, putting black boxes on every weekday is an easy mitzvah. You can add this 5 minute seemingly small act to your daily routine and it will make a big difference. It will even help our brethren in the Holy Land of Israel. Do the Israeli wrap. Don't wait for others - do it now.

Women – Commit to lighting Shabbat Candles; it is a weekly moment of inner peace and can bring light into the most darkest of places. We can light up the world. Don't wait for others - do it now.

For more info about these mitzvahs reply to this email. 

Have a Great Shabbos


Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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