|This D’var Torah is in Z’chus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein.
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmothers Channah Freidel Bas Sarah, and Shulamis Bas Etta-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-HaRav Gedalia Dov Ben Perel
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Yechiel Baruch HaLevi Ben Liba Gittel
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-Nechama Hinda Bas Tzirel Leah
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken in terror attacks (Hashem Yikom Damam), and a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
I wrote this short D’var Torah for a group of NCSYers a few years ago and its magical message has not lost its relevance. I only edited it slightly…
בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ ● B’Ha’alosecha
“Attitude is Everything”
If one looks at all of the stories in Sefer Bamidbar, one will notice that they make up a long series of unfortunate events for the B’nei Yisrael in the desert. We hear stories of a nation who sins, rebels, suffers tragedies, and betrays Hashem and His Torah way on multiple occasions. This tragic series begins in our Parsha, B’Ha’alosecha. The first, explicit, national tragedy recorded begins with three simple words. “Vayehi HaAm K’Mis’onenim…“-“And the nation became as complainers…” [Bamidbar 11:1].
The Torah indicates that the people were complaining. And guess what they were complaining about! Your guess is as good as mine, because the Torah doesn’t divulge what exactly it was that warranted it! Why not?
And what does it mean when the Torah says that “the nation became as complainers…”? Should it not have just stated, “And the nation complained”?
The answer to both of these questions is that the Torah is likely trying to tell us that at that point, it didn’t matter WHAT they were complaining about. They could have been complaining about literally anything! What matters is THAT they were complaining. Perhaps there was no single obvious cause.
And it was not just that they were complaining, but when the Torah says that they were “as complainers,” it means literally that, that they (on their exalted level) became like a group of complainers, mourning themselves as it were. It became who they were.
This scene is the one that apparently snowballed into the unfortunate series which cost virtually the entire generation its right of entry into Hashem’s Promised Land. And once again, we’re informed about complaining and complainers, but not about any specific complaint. This is telling. And what it tells us is that our attitude matters, that attitude is everything!
I once saw a plaque that read: “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude in response to the problem.”
The Torah didn’t tell us WHAT they were complaining about because that was not the real problem, or at least it no longer mattered. It was not by any means greater than the new problem they had caused.
How relevant this idea is today! Life isn’t easy and everyone has challenges. There are negative realities in the world and we should try to affect positive changes where we can. But attitude is what makes the difference between those who are ultimately happy and those who are not, between those who are successful and those who are not, and between those who are looking to solve legitimate problems and those who will just complain ambiguously and exacerbate them.
Whoever wants to be happy can find one thousand reasons to be happy. Whoever wants to complain can find one thousand things to complain about. One person can be rich and physically healthy and be the most miserable complainer around. Another person might be handicapped or deathly ill in a hospital bed and be the happiest person alive.
If we can adopt a positive outlook on life, we can be as happy as we all truly want to be. Whatever is going on in life, we have to remember: Attitude is everything!
May we all be Zocheh to develop the right attitude, affect positive change where available with productive behavior, and bear with Hashem where it seems we can’t, and Hashem will not only bear with us, but He will deliver us from all of our frustrations and hardships and send us our Geulah with the coming of Moshiach, Bimheirah Biyomeinu! Have a Great Shabbos!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg 🙂