It was a Motzi Shabbat / After Shabbat. Yehoshua (Joshua’s Hebrew name) comes in to the synagogue after the Avot Ubanim program (where fathers learn Torah together with their sons). He announces He is moving to Florida in 3 days. We were astounded by this quick decision. He had a great opportunity and decided to take it up.
In New York He had financial success, a nice house, his children were in a Torah Day School. He was appreciated in the community. He loved his Rabbi & Synagogue. He had learning sessions / a chevruta in a local Yeshiva with a friend. But he thought – this is a great opportunity. Some encouraged him – and wished him well. Others told him to take time to think about it.
He planned it out – He found a place in Florida. He found an Orthodox synagogue in his new neighborhood. He found a Torah Day school for his children. He found a little community in his new neighborhood. He would take care of selling his former house by an agent.
In several days he made a major life move.
What can we learn?
People are at times stuck. They are stuck with their attitude. They are stuck in a dead end job or relationship. They are stuck in their neighborhood – not because it is best for them – but out of habit. People are averse to change.
Many people left New York recently – I heard over 300,000. I guess the gains of living in NY were outweighed by the benefits of living elsewhere.
Adopting a New Attitude
Today’s times are quickly changing. We can learn from Joshua to move when a good opportunity arises. Or when a new attitude arises. The Torah has many great ways of living a more meaningful existence. A great place to start is by learning Pirkei Avot / Ehics of the Fathers. Shrugging them off we lose a great opportunity.
The Great Aliya in times of Mashiach
Also the events of these times signal and the great Rabbis say that we are in the times close to Mashiach / the Messiah. Miraculous events that will happen will be greater – than those that happened when we left Egypt. There will be a parallel also – just like the Jews of Egypt were asked to leave Egypt to go to the Promised Land – Israel – the Jews will be asked by the Messiah to relocate to Israel. I guess we should learn from Yehoshua – to be light and grab the opportunity. Those that are attached to their houses, Jobs, school, circle of friends, etc. will have to make a choice. Will they chose a golden opportunity to live a more spiritually satisfying life – or remain attached to their material property.
Be Light like the Eagle
This is what Pirkei Avot / Ehics of the Fathers (Chapter 5:20) means :
Be Bold to Do the Will of G·d
20. Yehuda ben Tema says: Be bold like the leopard & light like the nesher [king of birds] & quick like the deer & strong like the lion to do the Will of your Father in Heaven.
Let’s learn to be lighter in our improving our life. Some people were tempted to relinquish the possibility of growing spiritually in Torah and Mitzvoth – and the beautiful life it entails – for a pack of chiclets.
I heard when a certain mountain was supposed to erupt. They knew it beforehand. They warned the surrounding towns and villages to evacuate. Some residents interviewed – they would not relocate. Asked why? They replied – I was living here all my life.
Be Nimble. Be Quick. And Don’t jump over the candlestick. Jump over the attitude stick.