Rabbi Dov Ber Weisman
One of the last requests that Moses makes before he dies is "Let me please go over and see the good in the land" (Deuteronomy 3:25).
One of the last requests that Moses makes before he dies is "Let me please go over and see the good in the land" (Deuteronomy 3:25). Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, one of the leading Chassidic rebbes of the 19th century, explains that Moses' request was more than just to see the land of Israel; rather it was a prayer that Hashem should enlighten his eyes to always see the good in the land of Israel despite what may seem on the surface to be blemishes and shortcomings.
In turn, within our own lives, we must always pray to Hashem that we constantly see the good in everything. Whether it be in our relationships with family and friends, or in our profession, or in the city in which we dwell, we must always seek the positive. Indeed, Ethics of Our Fathers (2:9) tells us that one of the main keys to enjoying life is to have a "good eye". The sages explained this to mean that we should be blessed with the ability to see the good in everything.
We are all so very wealthy, but because of habit we take our riches for granted. If you are young then rejoice in your youth; if you are married or have children then rejoice in that wealth. In short, if you are walking and breathing the G-d given air, rejoice in the exhilaration of life.
Of course we all have problems, but we must also acknowledge the fact that there is always someone out there with bigger and more bitter problems than ours. It has been said that if each one of us would put our little "peckeleh" of problems on a table and we could have the option of picking up any one of these bundles, we would all end up reselecting our own little "peckeleh" of problems.
One Saturday night, Rabbi Simcha Zissel of Kelm, a foremost teacher of mussar (Jewish ethics) at the end of the 19th century, gave a sermon all of seven words. He got up, slapped his hand on the pulpit, and declared, "It is enough that one is alive!" The secret to life is to see the good in all that we have. We should reflect on all that Hashem has blessed us with, and the biggest thanks we can give the Almighty is by being happy, enjoying and appreciating our wealth.
Rabbi Dov Ber Weisman writes from Atlanta.
You are invited to read more Parshat Va'etchanan articles.
Would you recommend this article to a friend? Let us know by sending an e-mail to email@example.com