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follow the money

Friday, 22 April, 2022 - 3:47 am

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

First of all, I want to share some positive news.

We merited to host 2513 people at the Pesach Seder’s on the first night of Pesach across Thailand.

While it’s not like pre-Covid numbers it is definitely an encouraging sign that life is resuming its vibrancy and people are beginning to travel.

May Hashem bless us with health and stability!

CLICK HERE FOR SHORT VIDEO CLIP

And for those who want to be a partner in this beautiful show of Jewish Traditions, Unity and Pride, we had more people than anticipated and the additional bills now need to be paid. YOUR generous gift can turn into holy Passover Mitzvah energy. Click here to donate for Passover

 

I got an unexpected but very welcome call from Phuket after the first days of Pesach that a dear friend of mine, a long time Jewish resident of Thailand, had attended the second night seder at Chabad of Phuket. What prompted him to come?

A CNN interview with a Rabbi in Ukraine, who explained how important it is to celebrate Passover during these challenging times. Amazing how G-dly inspiration can be spread through the most unlikely of ways.

In that spirit, I suggest that you consider celebrating these last days of Pesach, culminating in the ‘Seudat Mashiach’ the ‘Meal of Mashiach’ click here for more info. as the crises in the world should cause us not to be despondent and lethargic, but to be energetic, hopeful and full of yearning for better times. What we can do to hasten this, is add in awareness and good deeds to hasten the coming of Mashiach.

Click here for a mediation to help you ‘Live with Mashiach’.

 

 

 

Have you heard the term ‘follow the money’?

Or the other term ‘follow your gut/instinct’?

The second part of Pesach Holiday that begins this evening remind us that we need to follow G-d primarily.

The Jews left Egypt and followed Moshe out of Egypt upon G-d’s instructions.

By day seven, the heavily armed Egyptians were in hot pursuit of the Jewish people. The Jewish people were camped in front of the Reed Sea, with no good options. The angry Egyptians from behind, the sea in front, what were they to do? Facing this existential crisis, the first since the recent birth of the nation, there was variety of opinions about what to do.

The Midrash tells us that the Jewish people were divided into four camps. There were those who said, “Let us throw ourselves into the sea.” A second group said, “Let us return to Egypt.” A third faction argued, “Let us wage war upon the Egyptians.” Finally, a fourth camp advocated, “Let us pray to G‑d.”

Click here for a detailed explanation and practical application of this Midrash

So, what did they do?

Well, first of all, they were told that none of their opinions was the correct one.

Moshe rejected all four options, saying to the people, “Fear not; stand by and see the salvation of G‑d which He will show you today. For as you have seen Egypt this day, you shall not see them again, forever. G‑d shall fight for you, and you shall be silent” (Exodus 14:13). “Fear not, stand by and see the salvation of G‑d,” explains the Midrash, is Moses’ response to those who had despaired of overcoming the Egyptian threat and wanted to plunge into the sea. “As you have seen Egypt this day, you shall not see them again” is addressed to those who advocated surrender and return to Egypt. “G‑d shall fight for you” is the answer to those who wished to battle the Egyptians, “and you shall be silent” is Moses’ rejection of those who said, “This is all beyond us. All we can do is pray.”

But what should they do?

G-d gave his clear and concise instruction to Moshe.

“Speak to the children of Israel, that they should go forward.”

There is only one thing a Jew needs to follow as he exits his personal Egypt and journeys to receive the Torah and enter his personal ‘Promised Land’.

GO FORWARD.

Do another mitzvah, ignite another soul, take one more step toward your goal. Pharaoh’s charioteers are breathing down your neck? A cold and impregnable sea bars your path? Don’t look up; look forward. See that Sinai mountain upon which the Torah will be given? Move toward it.

And when you move forward, you will see that insurmountable barrier yield and that ominous threat fade away. You will see that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, you have it within your power to reach your goal. Even if you have to split some seas.

This leap of faith is a difficult one. But it is a liberating leap that changes everything else in your life.

Don’t blindly follow the money. Life is about much more than money. And the obsession with accumulating wealth has led many a good intentioned person astray.

Don’t blindly follow your instincts. Some of our instincts are good and have been instilled within us to protect us. Other instincts however are instilled within us to challenge us. In order to have us put forth an effort to overcome them.

FOLLOW G-D.

This is fulfilled by learning Torah, fulfilling Mitzvahs and generally being aware of G-d’s presence in every single aspect of creation.

The ‘move forward’ mode is truly the G-dly way.

So many times, in so many circumstances, I have seen the ‘splitting of the sea’ as a result of moving forward even when the situation looked insurmountable.

Here is an example of a ‘big’ thing.

Just before year 2000 we had an opportunity to rent a large facility for our then bursting at the seams Chabad House in Kasoarn Rd. The leap from renting a narrow Chinese shophouse, to leasing a three storied. hundreds of meters large, location was a great one. The financial ramifications were enormous.

I took a good friend to see the new suggested location with me. He was honest, and told me ‘Rabbi, this project is too big for you’ and advised me to go for something more modest. After rethinking and consulting with others,  it still seemed to me that expanding was the direction that G-d wanted us to take. For the scope of our work was being hindered by the smallness of our facility and we needed to take this leap to further the work of G-d. We took the leap and thank G-d were successful. Instead of having more financial struggle we actually had less. Counterintuitive but true.

Twenty years later in 2017, a property became available for purchase not far from the main backpacker area. This was an opportunity to get out of paying rent and pay a mortgage instead. But the financial cost of property purchase and subsequent Chabad House building, was staggering. After consulting and thinking, it seemed clear that the path of G-d was pointing towards going ahead with the ambitious project. At various points of this project there were overwhelming challenges. G-d helped and at each stop of the way, dear friends stepped forward to be the angels that helped us bring this project to completion.

MIRACULOUS NEWS. This year - PESACH 2022 - at Kaosarn Rd was celebrated in the NEW Chabad House – Ohr Menachem (official grand opening on June 21 please G-d).

Somehow, the sea split, and we are in the new building.

And there are multitudes of small things.

Times when things looked bleak and overwhelming. Days where it seemed like the ideal place would be to hide out in bed with the covers over the head.

But as the Rebbe once answered someone ‘taking action, even the smallest action, is better than sleeping, and certainly better than falling into a deep slumber’.

Wake up. Get out of bed. Take a step in the right direction. Do the next right thing.

Time after time, I have seen, as I am sure that you too have, that when I follow this instruction ‘go forward’ in the direction of G-d, by doing the next right thing, somehow the seas split. The insurmountable obstacles become manageable, and things start moving forward in the right path to Sinai and the Promised Land.

This Holiday that begins tonight, the Seventh day of Pesach, is about the MIRACULOUS splitting of the sea which was brought about after Nachshon of the tribe of Yehuda walked into the sea ready to give up his life in order to fulfil G-d’s command of ‘Go Forward’. At the last moment, before the waters engulfed him, the sea split. Click here for more on this

This holiday is thus the holiday of commitment to the point of Mesirat Nefesh – Self Sacrifice.

May G-d bless us to never need to exercise this in actuality like our ancestors needed to, but rather may Hashem bless us to show our commitment to Him by  sacrificing our wants, desires and egos.

From this holiday we take the power and energy, courage, strength and conviction to move forward and follow G-d and LIVE the life of a believing Jew .

May the Almighty bring us Mashiach speedily in our days! NOW!!!!

Chag Sameach, Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

 

Watch a moment of wisdom for this week's Torah portion👇👇👇

 

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