13 Tamuz 5781 / Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | Torah Reading: Balak
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Moving to Israel

Like many of us, Leah doesn't like uncertainty. One of the “scripts” that she has in her head is that she needs to know it's going to be OK…


Leah and her husband have lived a financially comfortable lifestyle since they got married. Then all of a sudden, the family began experiencing a drastic loss of income, and they have had to scale down what has been quite a luxurious lifestyle.


Leah and her husband are followers of Rabbi Shalom Arush. They are reading the books, listening to the CDs, and trying to deal with their current situation with emuna. Now, because of all the financial upheaval, the family is seriously considering moving to Israel, but there is a lot of back and forth, and Leah has a lot of questions: will the kids be happy? How does she know that she'll like living in Israel? How is her husband going to make a living in a new country where he doesn't speak the language? There is lots of uncertainty.


Like many of us, Leah doesn't like uncertainty. One of the “scripts” that she has in her head is that she needs to know it's going to be OK. She wants to know where they are going to live, how they are going to put food on the table, etc. It's fine to want all that, it's fine to own up to wanting certainty - but at the same time, we have to accept that we are living in a world of uncertainty.


Right now, G-d is hidden, He is hiding His face from us. In this world, we need to have faith, because no one really has any certainty about anything. We don't really know what's going on in our lives right now and none of us can predict with any certainty what is going to happen to us in five minutes from now.


Leah has two choices available to her: either, she can try to change the conditions of her life, so that it can match up to her script of how she wants her life to be, or, she can change her script to match the circumstances she now finds herself in, which Hashem is orchestrating.


Many of us spend most of our lives trying to go down the first route, of having our life match up to our expectations. We try so hard to have a perfect marriage, or a stellar career, or an ideal home, or family, and on the rare occasions when we feel we're actually reaching that ideal state - wow! We feel great! But the problems start when the ideal that we're shooting for, and what's really going on in our lives, don't add up. Then, we feel upset and angry, and we start to blame ourselves, or others and G-d.


Again, this is a common reaction, and so many of us do it. But anyone who is caught up in this sort of blame game can't make progress. Blamers can't grow, and anyone who is holding on to grudges and resentments can't move forward in life. They get stuck in a negative state of fearful inaction and recriminations. A person who holds on to resentments in his heart is like someone who takes poison, and hopes that their enemy is going to die.


So Leah has a choice to make: either she needs to change her life conditions or, she needs to change her script.


Life is not going to be certain and predictable whichever way she chooses to live.  So really, Leah only has one choice, and that's to change her script, rewrite her blueprint for how her life should be, and make a new plan. If Leah chooses to accommodate herself to G-d’s script for her, then G-d will help her to keep rewriting, modifying, softening, and changing her goals, until she achieves them. G-d is going to be calling the shots on how best to achieve these end goals. This is the foundation fact that anyone must accept as a prerequisite to successful Aliya, moving to Israel.

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