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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Success


An individual was once asked by the Rebbe to aid a Hebrew school that was on brink of closure, because of its low student enrollment. He threw himself into the task and his efforts paid off; in a short time, enrollment tripled.

He wrote a letter to the Rebbe, very proud of his success.

The Rebbe responded, “Success?”

Stunned, the principal took the next opportunity, during a private audience, to inquire about the remark.

The Rebbe gently asked him to define success. The Rebbe then asked him how one can consider a few dozen enrollments as a success when there are still so many Jewish children not receiving a Jewish education! Yes, he had tripled the enrollment but success means exerting effort, and is a continued struggle to do what is right.

That person walked out of the office with a new view on success. He understood that while the Rebbe did appreciate his hard work, he didn’t want him to sit and relax, when there was so much more to do.

This week, we read two Torah portions.

The second one, which is the closing portion of Numbers, opens: "These are the journeys of the children of Israel…" The Torah then lists forty-two encampments of the Jews, from when they left Egypt until reaching the Jordan river.

Why are these stops referred to as “journeys,” instead of encampments? They were just places of rest, not travels!

This is one of Judaism’s teachings. The journey itself is part of the destination. Often, the achievements that we accomplish prevent us from progressing more.

Success shouldn't be measured by how far we get in life, but by the depth of life we get.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom!

Candle lighting time in NYC is before 7:56 PM