Read a piece on the Chassidus titled “Jump Start your Life” written by Rabbi Sholom Schapiro, the Shliach of the NY Torah Center on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
I was driving down Park Avenue one evening, when I saw a car stopped on the side of the road. The hood was up, and a passenger in my car urged me to stop and give the car a boost. “I’d be happy to give him a boost, but I have no jumper cables,” I replied. “Look,” replied my friend. “The driver of the car is standing there with his own cables! All he needs is a car.”
As we pulled over and assisted the stranger, I told him about the 7 Noahide laws, which are Mitzvot for all of mankind. Each individual has the ability to make the world a better place, and to hasten the ultimate redemption.
Later, I tried to think of a lesson that the encounter had taught me.
There are times in life when we find ourselves in the breakdown lane. We are stopped, and do not think that we have the ability to go further.
When that happens it is imperative to get out of the car and get those jumper cables. If you do what is in your ability, then G-d will pull up and take care of the rest. Just like the stranger was confident that a driver would see and stop. We too must have full confidence that G-d will help when we do our part.
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One of the Mitzvot in this week’s Torah portion is the command to lend money to those in need, without accruing interest. Loaning money is a form of charity, albeit where those in need are able to preserve their self-dignity.
When we lend an object, we expect the same object to be returned. However, when we lend money, we expect that money to be used, and different money will be returned.
It is taught that G-d observes all the Mitzvahs, including this one. How does G-d lend money?
G-d lends us life, which He expects us to utilize to the fullest. We are expected to invest that life of ours wisely, by doing good deeds and making our surroundings a better place.
And yet, at times we may feel as if we are stuck, and we are unable to get ourselves going. Even when we feel that we are unable to extricate ourselves from the difficult situation, we must do our part. G-d expects us to put in our effort, and then He provides the assistance. We are expected to prop up our hood and hold our booster cables, and G-d will be right by to infuse us with divine energy.
But we have to do our part.
It is taught that when Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh, saw Moshe floating in the basket, she stretched out her arm, even though there was no natural way for her to reach it. A miracle took place, and G-d caused her arm to stretch and reach the basket. She could have easily given up, saying that it would be impossible to save the basket. Thanks to her initiative, Moshe was saved, and through him, an entire nation was freed from slavery.
We must do our part first, and then G-d fills the gap.
In life, unlike the stalled car, the loan has been handed over to us. We possess the ability to move on in life, at times we are unaware of our great potential. When G-d helps us out, it is merely uncovering the amazing ability that has been there all along.
Dedicated L’iluy Nishmat: Henry Zilberman – Chaim Ben Avrohom z”l
Rabbi Sholom Schapiro
KOLLEL TORAH CENTER
393 Fifth Avenue, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10016
“Let’s welcome Moshiach with acts of goodness and kindness”
– The Rebbe