†† A small plane flying over the desert developed engine problems and was forced to land.Unable to radio for help, the passengers took stock of their possessions and contemplated their survival.The list of items included a half dozen coats, a loaded handgun, a compass and a ladies compact along with several other items.


†† The above scenario is used in workshops to teach that a group working together can do better than the individuals working alone.The exercise requires that each person rate the items as most to least important for survival.The group then rates the items, calling on the knowledge, experience and expertise of every member.Finally, the ratings are compared to those done by an expert in desert survival.Almost without exception the list developed by the group working together has more correct answers than any one individualís list.The group members are not equally knowledgeable but each contributes want he can.The team is in equilibrium, focused on achieving its goal.


†† The body is also made of many different organs and parts.It is all connected and needs to work together in equilibrium for the whole to be healthy.A bad infection in the toe can create poison that weakens the entire body.


†† Our lives also have many parts that need to be in equilibrium.These parts include prayer, study, performance of mitzvoth, needs of the body, relationships, etc.


†† Prayer includes not only daily prayer in the siddur but also personal prayer from the heart in oneís own words (hisbadedut).†† Study can include study of the mitzvoth (Shulchan Aruch), Misnah and Gemorah,the Tenach (Bible), and books such as Tanya and Derech Hashem that explain our relationship to G-d and creation.Equally important are the needs of the body.Diet, medical care, and sleep are not ďspiritualĒ but are important parts of a relationship with G-d.†††


†† Without glasses to see one canít study.Without relationships there will be no minyan.Study teaches how and why to perform mitzvoth.The motivation to perform mitzvoth can come from understanding our relationship in creation.It is all connected.


†† All parts must be in equilibrium.At any given time one part may be more prevalent than others but, none should be neglected.Prayer in a minyan may be easy to do while time to study must be forced.The goal is growth and equilibrium of every part is needed for growth.


†† There is a true story of a man whose business success took a downturn.Nothing seemed to help.When the Rebbe was asked, he advised that the milk supply be checked.The milk was found to be non-kosher.Once his diet was corrected his businesses once again prospered.It is all interconnected in ways that cannot always be understood.


†† As to the list above, the order of importance is the ladies compact, the trench coats, the gun and then the compass.The goal is survival and rescue.Sunlightcan be reflected off the compactís mirror.This signal can be seen over long distances even over the horizon.Dehydration is a major danger in the desert and most evaporation is through the skin.The coats helps reduce evaporation of moisture from the skin.The are few things that will attack in the desert so the gun is not very important.Finally, the key to being rescued is to stay with the wreckage The wreckage provides shelter and is easier to spot from the air.Following the compass will take you away from the wreckage and away from rescue.





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