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The hardest thing after 120 is to meet the person you could have been. This world is the only chance your soul has for it to get close to G-d, and the only way is through G-d’s manual, His Torah. Hell is not a punishment for sin, but a purification of the soul, that wants to be closer to its Creator. Who would ever think, that Hell has a song? But here is the song of Gehinom, of Hell,  in Perek Shira. כִּי־הִ֭שְׂבִּיעַ נֶ֣פֶשׁ שֹׁקֵקָ֑ה וְנֶ֥פֶשׁ רְ֝עֵבָה מִלֵּא־טֽוֹב:  For He sated the yearning soul, and filled the hungry soul with good.(Tehillim 107;9) This is life and its meaning: a journey of the soul to get as close as it can to G-d. The Talmud refers to death as נח נפשיה, where the soul rests. After 120, you are what you fought for.

This is something I meditate a lot on in life, how to get an upgrade, in Olam Haba. How do we become closer to G-d? By being G-dly, by giving! The greatest way to give, the greatest way to be G-dly, is teaching Torah and its values. There are so many other ways to give as well. Have you been there for the people that G-d put in your life, did you make a significant difference? What type of example did you impress, what type of legend will you leave behind? Did you tell the people in your life how much you appreciate them? Did you learn Torah, watch your tongue, and watch your eyes, to the best of your capabilities? And, most important, what type of character did you adapt? Were you humble, patient, respectful and calm, living life with faith, and a relationship with your Creator? Did you believe that G-d protects you even when you can’t protect yourself? Did you have patience for G-d to do His thing, and bring you your salvation?

Did you stand up for the truth, and defend the righteous? After all, that was the sin of the Golden Calf. Only 600 people actually sinned. 3000 were killed because they were guilty by association, and the rest of the nation, 3 million people, were under decree of annihilation for not stopping the 600 idol worshippers. To teach us, that what you can impact, you are held accountable to impact. Are you able to spiritually impact anyone, someone who is open and ready to receive your impact, and you are not?

Sometimes, to make an impact, you need to forget the impact of the present and focus on the impact that will take you a long time, called long term impact. What is the impact you are aiming for, amongst your family and friends, that will impact them eventually over the next five years?

We are in the times before Mashiach. The Yetzer Hara is fighting his last fight, which is why any spiritual gain, is a huge gain. To do anything spiritual, to be stronger than your excuses or your technology, has never been harder. Still in all, G-d wants us to achieve the small things we can. He wants us to take small steps to spirituality. The greatest enemy of Spirituality is Speed. This is why, the Jews were held accountable when they saw a walking, talking and eating Golden Calf, saying that it took the Jews out of Egypt, and they served it. How could they be responsible for being mislead, when Aharon actually was the one who threw the gold into the fire and said that we will celebrate this? And after they saw the Satan’s work, of a floating coffin of Moshe floating in the sky! The answer is, that nothing spiritual comes so fast! What G-d wants from us, especially in our days, is the struggle and the patience.

We need to live in that space. The space between believing in your greatness, dreaming of how you can grow to become the possible you, maximizing your time, defining what is the most important and most significant, and to live the life G-d gave you with the utmost authenticity… And, to balance that, with being humble enough to have patience for yourself and others, and to hold on when growth is taking longer than expected. There were three leaders of the Jewish People, one was our father, the second was our king, and the third was our teacher, and they were all symbolic for their humility. There is only one Avraham Avinu. There is only one David Hamelech. And there is only one Moshe Rabeinu. To be the best father, the best king, and the best teacher, you need to be the most patient, as humility=patience. (Rashi Bamidbar 12;3)

In this week’s Parasha, Moshe defended the Jewish People from destruction, by giving G-d the ultimatum: Either to forgive the sin of the people, or to take Moshe’s name out G-d’s Book. וְאִם־אַ֕יִן מְחֵ֣נִי נָ֔א מִֽסִּפְרְךָ֖. This is why, Moshe’s name is not found in Parashat Tezaveh, which is the twentieth Parasha in the Torah, as the letter Chaf, from  מִֽסִּפְרְךָ֖ is the numerical value of 20.

But why take Moshe’s name out? What does Moshe’s name have anything to do with it?

To explain this, we need to step back, and understand something. Moshe really had many names, at least ten, ירד, חבר, יקותיאל, אביגדור, אבי סוכו, אבי זנוח, טוביה, שמעיה בן נתנאל הסופר, הלוי בן אביתר , His names were given with meaning, like the name Yered, which refers to the fact, that he brought the Torah down from Heaven. Out of all the ten names, the name that stuck, though, the name that G-d used, was the name given by Bitya, because it described the essence of Moshe. She called him that name because she pulled him out of the water. כִּ֥י מִן־הַמַּ֖יִם מְשִׁיתִֽהוּ Bityah risked her life to save Moshe when it was against the law of her father Pharaoah. That kindness for another, personified the essence of Moshe, more than his bringing the Torah down from the sky (ירד) and more than Moshe stopping people from transgressing G-d’s Torah (אבי גדור)! What captured the essence of Moshe was his ability to pull people out of the mess: Out of Egypt, out of the Sea, from hunger in the Desert, out of annihilation over the sin of the Calf or the Spies. Only through pulling people out of their difficulties, being Moshe, was he able to be Rabbeinu, to teach them Torah. R’ Chaim Shmulevitz tells us that Moshe said to G-d, If you can’t forgive the sin of the People, if you are going to destroy them, then take my name Moshe out of your Torah, for I have not kept up to my Tafkid, my life’s purpose!

How did Moshe become this selfless person, and demand from G-d forgiveness with such an ultimatum? He was infused with this selflessness from Bitya! Selflessness is contagious, when you help others, you begin a domino effect of people helping each other! This selflessness is what brought Bitya into Gan Eden while she was alive, and put her into the Eshet Hayil hall of fame, under the passuk וַתָּ֤קָם׀ בְּע֬וֹד לַ֗יְלָה , and she got up, in middle of the night (the night is a metaphor of Egyptian Slavery).(Midrash Mishlei 31) Every time you get up in the middle of the night to help your child, every time you change a diaper, you are being like Bitya, being selfless. When you are being selfless, you are stepping up, to the test of living with significance, and getting yourself an upgrade in closeness to G-d, in the World to Come!

(Here is a personal miracle that happened this week, a true Chessed boomerang: This week, Yeshivat Lev Aharon where I work, took the students and the staff snorkeling and scuba diving in Yam Suf, off to the side, in a private area. Before getting into the water, to do some snorkeling, I asked a Rabbi Uri that works there, who has a walker, and was sitting off to the side, watching everyone in the water, if I can put my wallet and phone in the pocket of his walker. He was happy to help. I went out to snorkel, and was having a great time, looking at all the beautiful fish and the coral reefs. Suddenly, my snorkel slipped off, and a lot of very salty water slipped into my mouth. I was pretty far out into the water, and I was trying to grab onto that stick of the snorkel. But instead, I grabbed onto something, which turned out to be someone’s wallet! I swam to the shore, and asked the scuba divers with assistance to get me the stick of the snorkel, which they did pretty quickly. At the shore, I opened the wallet, it had some money in it, some credit cards, and the owner was, Rabbi Uri! He actually went into the water for a few minutes and did not realize that he had his wallet in the back pocket of his shorts, which slipped into the water and drifted out, and that it was now missing!)

The greatest you is the humblest you, and the you that lives with the question in mind, ‘To whom I am needed most?’ Throughout the journey of life, the soul can step up, and be there for another person. The poor person’s soul lives through a life of poverty to save the wealthy from Hell, by giving them a chance to give some tzedakah. (Baba Batra 10a) Do you know what this means??!! All this life of poverty is worth it for the poor, just to be there for the rich guy, and save him from some Hell! That is how significant it is, in the Next World, to help another person! Moshe knew that it was his responsibility of pulling the Jews out of the mess. This was not compromised due to the fact that Moshe was the humblest of men. Quite the contrary. Moshe’s great humility translated itself into Moshe’s great selflessness. Look around. See where you can make a difference in someone’s life. Even if it is the smallest difference. To you it will seem small. But to that person, it can change his life. This is why G-d put you where you are. He made that person need you, to give your soul a chance to be G-dly and giving. Don’t blow it! As Mordechai told Esther, כִּ֣י אִם־הַחֲרֵ֣שׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי֘ בָּעֵ֣ת הַזֹּאת֒ רֶ֣וַח וְהַצָּלָ֞ה יַעֲמ֤וֹד לַיְּהוּדִים֙ מִמָּק֣וֹם אַחֵ֔ר וְאַ֥תְּ וּבֵית־אָבִ֖יךְ תֹּאבֵ֑דוּ וּמִ֣י יוֹדֵ֔עַ אִם־לְעֵ֣ת כָּזֹ֔את הִגַּ֖עַתְּ לַמַּלְכֽוּת:

G-d has patience, infinite patience, as theונתנה תוקף  prayer says on the High Holidays, וְעַד יוֹם מוֹתוֹ תְּחַכֶּה לוֹ , Until the day of death, G-d waits for us to repent. He is patient with us, until we learn more patience. Humility is something very internal, you can’t fake it until you make it, unless you get used to talking softly and calmly, practicing patience. Unless you are understanding how much G-d believes in you, infinitely empowers you, and waits while watching to see how you actualize to the max.

About the author, Yosef

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