Messages from a Dead Phone

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In the footsteps of our Fathers

Messages from a Dead Phone

AVOS – Perek 2 Mishna 2

By Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

We have all been there, grappling with that difficult problem that just won’t go away. A close friend told me of just such a situation and how he found some answers.  His was a singularly burdensome matter and one that was weighing deeply on his heart. He kept asking Hashem for some direction, and he feared he was losing his way. Just as he felt he couldn’t breathe with the anxiety of it all, something happened. In the process it opened his heart to new truths.

In the midst off his turmoil our hero bought himself a new phone, simple, kosher without frills. However, this particular fellow is all thumbs and somehow within hours of taking delivery of the device he had jammed it up so badly that he couldn’t make any calls. The more he tried to get the stubborn thing to work the more exasperated he became until in a last gasp of despair he took the awkward phone back to the shop where he had purchased it. A young man stood behind the counter and our friend, hands trembling, explained that the new phone seemed decidedly dead. The salesman took the phone from my friend’s sweaty hand, caressed it slightly and then with a deft push of a button brought the mobile back from the land of the dead. My friend was well and truly impressed, “How did you do that?” “Well, Rabbi, its simple: sometimes these things get overloaded because you ask too much from them at one time. The only thing you can do to set things right is a total reset, clearing the circuit of everything and allowing the phones memory to start afresh.”

Nothing just happens, and when you need it the most, Hashem sends a clear direction for you to consider.

Talk about messages from heaven, here was one being given over the counter of a mobile phone shop!

Life, we know, is never easy; in fact, it’s painfully difficult at times. We negotiate its twists and turns, hoping that somehow we will reach a place of perfect tranquility. If the truth be known, we all know in our hearts that such a place doesn’t exist; this world we live in is meant to stretch us and so it can never be perfect. The edginess we feel in ourselves is the sign that we are alive and each problem is sent along so we can grow. In this way we reach new levels in a plan that is beyond our understanding. The only thing we can be certain of is that Hashem knows where we are and seeks only our good.

Knowing all this doesn’t help when the fears and questions plague us; at those moments we need a message, an answer, something that reminds us that Hashem is on our side.

Guta Yiden speak of this and explain that Hashem does send us such messages, often cloaked in simple moments of what seems trivial moments.

You go to a shop to fix a phone and learn that when your heart is a jumble of mixed emotions you may just have to stop, reset your thoughts, allow yourself a moment of calm, and then push on further. Total reset may well mean a fresh new focus for a heart filled with the noise of anxious despair.

To a Yid the everyday happening must be seen in the context of an ongoing conversation with one’s inner soul.  Nothing just happens, and when you need it the most, Hashem sends a clear direction for you to consider.

Our Mishna tells us:

“Rabban Gamiel, the son of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi says: The study of Torah combined with a worldly occupation is an excellent thing, for the energy needed for both keeps sinful thoughts out of one’s mind.”

Taking worldly occurrences, those simple moments that come our way, and raising them through the prism of our Torah creates clarity that will lead us on the correct path. There can be no separation; everything is speaking to us of Hashem’s will. This is the ultimate combination of Torah learning and a worldly occupation. With this bonding our soul creates the energy of clarity that makes it possible for us to stay free from the grasp of sin.

We all have trying moments, feelings of loss, failure and despair. Yet, if we lift our eyes beyond the moment we can perhaps pick up the messages, reset our inner compass and raise our hearts higher.

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