From the Facebook page of Rabbi Uriel Vigler, Shliach of the Rebbe in Manhattan, NY:
This week our community is excited to be hosting 12 severely injured IDF soldiers for 10 days of fun—our first post-covid trip. We’ve been showering them with love and treating them to all kinds of exclusive activities that most would otherwise never experience.
We took them to a Ferrari-Maserati dealership for a tour of the different models, and they were even given a ride—a real thrill! One of the Ferraris was stowed away in storage and may only be touched with white gloves. It’s one of only 300 worldwide and has a price tag of $2 million, we were told.
I listened as the owners explained about the different models. They showed us one model that they won’t sell to a first-time owner. You cannot buy it until you already own two other Ferraris!
The soldiers were so excited and I needed to understand the hype. Why is this the most luxurious brand in the business? So I sat myself in the driver’s seat and they showed me all the special features and told me about the horse emblem in the front.
All I could think of was the words we pray each morning: “G-d does not desire the strength of the horse, G-d desires those who fear Him,” and I was thinking … Ferrari!
But what truly makes the Ferrari so special is its speed. Nothing can compare, or even come close to it. It’s like magic!
The Tzemach Tzedek, the third Chabad Rebbe, had a student who was into fast horses. The Rebbe asked him, “Why is a fast horse so much better than a slow one?”
The student explained how a fast horse takes you from place to place with such speed, you reach your destination much faster.
“Yes, but what if the fast horse is going in the wrong direction?” asked the Tzemach Tzedek. “Then the speed is a disadvantage, because you end up much further in the wrong direction than you would on a slow horse.”
“But as soon as you realize you’re going the wrong way,” answered the student, “you turn around and go in the right direction much faster.”
The Rebbe looked at him with a penetrating gaze and repeated three times, “Yes, as soon as you realize it’s the wrong direction. As soon as you realize. As soon as you realize.”
What was the Tzemach Tzedek trying to tell him?
He was pointing out that we need to be certain we are galloping along in the right direction in our spiritual growth and development too.
Take a good look at your morning routine. You race through your coffee, to the gym, to work, from meeting to meeting … we are zipping through life faster than a Ferrari! But are we moving in the right direction? Are we focused on what is truly important? How can we make sure?
We need to slow down and examine our motives. Are we focused on what we can take or what we can give to the world and those around us? Is it all about the next dollar, the next deal, the next concert, the next meal? Or is it about putting good deeds out into the world? Taking time out for a friend who needs a listening ear. Stopping mid-afternoon to connect with G-d and daven Mincha. Disconnecting for 25 hours at the end of the week to observe Shabbat. By making our life one of mitzvot, one of a higher purpose, we can be sure we are galloping along in the right direction.