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you will be successful

Thursday, 5 November, 2015 - 8:55 am

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I just arrived at the International Conference of Chabad Shluchim, the largest annual Jewish gathering in North America culminating with a sit down banquet with over 5,200 Rabbis and lay leaders. Earlier in the week, I had the honor to visit a women in a local rehab and assist her on the road to recovery from alcoholism. Later that day, I was able to visit a young man in jail and show him that while he has made some mistakes, his is still cared for by his community.

What is the connection between the conference, the serenity prayer, these visits and this week’s  Parsha (Torah Portion).

In this week’s portion Avraham sends his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchok. When instructing Eliezer to travel to Aram Naharaim, Avraham says:  “He will send His angel before you”. When Eliezer tells over the story to Rivka’s family he says that Avraham said 'The Lord, before Whom I walked, will send His angel with you and make your way prosper’. 

In the serenity prayer we are told to have the courage to change the things that we can, to do what we can to affect people in a positive manner while knowing that we can not control others. As a Chabad Rabbi, I know that if I am dedicated to the mission of spreading the warmth and love of Judaism, with dedication similar to that of Avraham’s servant, then there is an angel with me and there is a guarantee of success. Although sometimes we do notsee the success and the person we are trying to affect maintains their free choice, that is beyond our control. 

So it is all connected; in this week’s Torah portion G-d guarantees those who remain true to their mission that they will be successful, Eliezer is guaranteed success. Those who are true to the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s mission of caring for the physical and spiritual welfare of every Jew, are  guaranteed success. Those whom I visited are guaranteed success if they follow their unique treatment plans. We must always keep in mind that we need the wisdom to know the difference between that which we can change and that which we ca not change - namely, others.

Have a great Shabbos – see you next week (there are no services at Harford Chabad this week)

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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