LESSONS OF JUDAISM

 

Never Give Up

†† As a boy, Winston Churchill, on three different occasions, came close to flunking out of Harrow School.After he became Prime Minister of England, Harrow School invited him to give their commencement address. His gave a speech that has never been forgotten. Churchill walked to the podium, turned slowly and looked intently over the audience.He then said three words: "Never give up." He paused, waiting for their full attention and again said: "Never give up." Finally he paused even longer and said firmly: "Never give up." And then Churchill sat down. That's all he needed to say because he had lived it. He hadn't given up at Harrow and he hadn't given up on England or anything that was important to him no matter what the obstacles.

 

†† When someone hurts another and the offender asks forgiveness, it is easily granted.However, if the offense is repeated over and over again, even if he asks forgiveness each time, it becomes harder and harder to forgive.After all, if he were truly sorry he would stop causing the injury.

 

†† Often a person asks G-d for forgiveness of a sin (teshuvah) and then commits the same offense again.After several cycles of this a person often feels hypocritical asking G-d for forgiveness.It is almost embarrassing to ask Him to forgive the same offense over and over again.So people stop asking.

 

†† G-dís response to repeated offenses is different from manís response.For G-d there is no difference between once and a thousand times.Forgiveness is a display of His mercy.G-dís mercy is not limited and finite.It is infinite.Compared to infinity there is no difference between a small number and a large number.1

 

†† ďAs far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.2Ē There is no place where east and west meet.However far one travels to the west there is still further to go.The distance from east to west is infinite.The distance is so great that it is as though the transgressions no longer exist.A person says ďI did it againĒ but to G-d it is just this time, as though the first instances no longer exist.

 

†† The feeling of ďI canít approach G-d and ask forgiveness from Him againĒ is not from G-d.It is from the evil impulse to keep us separated from G-d.

 

†† In temple times if a person had a defect he could not give a sacrifice.He was not labeled for life, he just had to be cleansed, as per the law, and then he could offer the sacrifice.Unconfessed sin causes discouragement and spiritual dullness. Dealing directly with transgression though teshuvah allows one a fresh start.One is not condemned forever. When one asks forgiveness he is immediately forgiven.1

 

†† The problem is not the instant that a sin is committed.The concern is a sin that is never addressed and never resolved. It is the same with mitzvoth.A Baal Teshuvah is all too aware of his shortcomings.He doesnít know the Hebrew, he struggles with mitzvoth that others learned as children, his prayers are more labored. One doesnít have to be perfect.Just strive to make constant progress.

1. Tanya, Part 3 (Igeret Hateshuvah), Ch. 11

2. Psalm 103:12

 

TOPICS

 

Growth

Equilibrium

Find a Good Teacher

Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

Knowledge and Wisdom

Never Give Up

Our Greatest Teacher

Progress

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Truth; Our Most Powerful Tool

Value of Routine

Relationship: To G-d

Dishonoring Torah

Feeling Close to G-d

G-d Wants the Heart

Incomplete Offering

Time Spent

Whole and Willing

 

 

Prayer

Answers to Prayer

G-d Will Answer Your Prayers

Most Effective Prayer Offered

Purpose of Prayer

Why Prayer Services Arenít More Entertaining

Role of The Jewish People

(Purpose of Creation)

Eternal Life

Everything is Connected

G-dís Hidden Presence

Key to Success

My Part

Our Actions Change the World

Revealing the Concealed

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body

 

 

Relationship: To Another Jew

Harbor No Enmity

Practicing Forgiveness

Spouses

Who Are your Victims?

The Soulís Mission

Just Right

Leaving a Mark on the World

Perfect Family

Perspective

Repair Your Part

 

 

Relationship: To Community

Charity Given With Joy

Love Every Jew

Mitzvah of Giving Up

Single Entity

Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

Whole Story

Trust and Faith

Choices

Choosing for a Purpose

Donít Put G-d in a Box

Faith

Stick With G-d

 

 

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