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Yes we can!

Thursday, 30 June, 2016 - 10:54 am

I can't, I don't want too. There’s no way I am able to do this. We all tell ourselves these types of self-defeating mantras. Many times, we justify the self-fulfilling prophecy with logic. We reason that we don't want to do something and create logic to back it up. For example; one may want to make an impact on their local community, to influence it to be better yet tells himself: 

1) "You can't fight City Hall". The culture is too powerful, the world around me, the community I'm in, they all won't allow the change that I'm looking to create to happen.

2) Who am I to try to have an effect on the world around me? I am personally deficient and not fitting to change the world. I should focus on myself first.

3) Too many technical parts of the puzzle need to fall into place. Will they help the process or distract me? Is doing the bookkeeping really making an impact?

As always, we look to the Torah for the solution. In this week's Torah portion, the spies are scouting the land of Israel in order to prepare to overcome any challenge they may face when conquering and settling the land. Upon their return, the spies began to enumerate the reasons why we will not succeed in conquering the land. Caleb interrupted them and said "YES WE CAN!" He addressed the three types of claims above:

1) Despite there being a stronger army behind us and the sea in front of us, and it seemed impossible to reach our goal of entering the Land of Israel, Moses split the sea.

2) When we were not personally worthy and not trusting that G-d can give us meat in the desert, Moses reached out to G-d and we were provided for.

3) When we lacked food in the desert, Moses arranged the whole manna experience as part of the process to reach the Promised Land.

Caleb taught us that we can win any battle if we 1) trust in the general (Moses) who is 2) basing his actions and instructions on the commander in chief (G-d). 

We must look to the Torah, or those that carry the Torah as their life, as our spiritual general. It is in this fashion that one can ensure that the battle being fought is a proper one and one which they will come out victorious, regardless of any obstacles along the way.

In less than two weeks we will commemorate 3 Tammuz, the 22nd anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe. The Rebbe guided the Jewish world, as a spiritual general, since the horrors of World War II how to pick itself up from the ashes and rebuild.

May we all merit to enter the Holyland with the coming of Moshiach now!

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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