Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein

Investing in Others

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 6:6

[THE POSSESSOR OF TORAH IS ONE] WHO RECOGNIZES HIS PLACE, WHO REJOICES IN HIS PORTION, WHO MAKES A FENCE TO HIS WORDS, WHO CLAIMS NO CREDIT FOR HIMSELF, IS LOVED, LOVES THE ALL-PRESENT, LOVES [HIS FELLOW] CREATURES, LOVES RIGHTEOUS WAYS, WELCOMES REPROOFS [OF HIMSELF], LOVES UPRIGHTNESS, KEEPS HIMSELF FAR FROM HONOUR[S], LETS NOT HIS HEART BECOME SWELLED ON ACCOUNT OF HIS LEARNING…

It is easy to delight in our own achievements. We become enamored with what we are able to accomplish. Unfortunately, the appetite for self-promotion is difficult to sustain. The more we desire to show our value the less we are capable of feeling it.

Self-value is something that can only be found within.  Sometimes we can help ourselves by acknowledging our accomplishments and owning the positive things other offer.  However, once we let go of the drive for outside affirmation and recognize others' achievements, our sense of self changes dramatically. When we begin investing in others the accrued benefits to our self is exponential.

  

You Can Always Find a Way to Learn

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 6:5

GREATER IS THE TORAH THAN THE PRIESTHOOD AND THAN THE KINGSHIP, SEEING THAT THE KINGSHIP IS ACQUIRED IN [THE FORM OF] THIRTY DISTINCTIONS, AND THE PRIESTHOOD IN [THE FORM OF] TWENTY-FOUR, BUT THE TORAH IN [THE FORM OF] FORTY-EIGHT THINGS.

Many advances have been made in the arena of education. Studies have shown that different people acquire information differently. As children we knew there were some who excelled in formal classroom learning while others did better on the ball fields. There were kids who did better in math and science while others did better at the social sciences.

The goal of this Mishna is simple. Torah is accessible to all. The Mishna says never count yourself out.  Just because the experience you might have had growing up was one in which you found the treasures of our tradition inaccessible doesn’t mean that you are left out. It just means you haven’t tapped your potential yet. You haven’t found the right teacher and or you haven’t found the right approach yet. If you feel left out come and see me and we can begin the journey back in together. We can find the right approach.

  

Action Plans

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 6:4

SUCH IS THE WAY [OF LIFE CONDUCIVE TO THE STUDY] OF THE TORAH: A MORSEL OF BREAD WITH SALT THOU SHALT EAT, AND WATER BY MEASURE THOU SHALT DRINK, AND UPON THE GROUND THOU SHALT SLEEP, AND A LIFE OF PRIVATION THOU SHALT LIVE, AND IN THE TORAH SHALT THOU LABOUR. IF THOU DOEST THUS, HAPPY SHALT THOU BE, AND IT SHALL BE WELL WITH THEE: HAPPY SHALT THOU BE IN THIS WORLD, AND IT SHALL BE WELL WITH THEE IN THE WORLD TO COME.

For every goal we have in life there must be a plan to achieving it. Without a plan all of our great aspirations fall short of execution. Every plan has to take into account what sacrifices are going to have be made. We have to decide how our current behavior will have to be altered in order to make time for concentration on the goal.

It was once said, the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior while still expecting a different outcome. If we want to accomplish something different in our lives we have to change our “action plans”.