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It Was All Me (Almost) – Parshat Ekev

It Was All Me (Almost) – Parshat Ekev

We like to believe that we are in charge of our lives and that we can do whatever we truly put our minds to. In such a manner, we have conquered polio, sent a man to the moon and have put worldwide communications at your fingertips. We have overcome personal tragedies and faults to accomplish incredible things on a personal level. We have called upon internal strength and diligence.

It is even empowering then, to find that the Torah calls upon us to acknowledge these strengths as well. “And you shall say in your heart, my strength and my power have made for me this wealth.”1 The Ra”n explains that this is a form of obligation. You should say this to yourself. You should recognize that you have strength. You have abilities. You have potential.2 Just realize, he adds, that there is a continuation of that sentence. The next sentence tells us. “Remember God for He has given you the potential to succeed.” It is not all you. You have received this gift from somewhere. As the song from Marvelous Middos Machine goes, “all the good things that you’ve got come from above, an anav (humble person) knows Hashem has given him these gifts with love.”4

We have talents that are unique to us and that have been given to us. We are all here for a reason and each and every one of us is here for a different reason. The world is waiting for us to come forth and fulfill our unique potential.3 It is up to us to decide to take that path.

One of the most difficult challenges I have in my clinic is working with people who do not believe this. They do not understand that they are here for a purpose and in their own eyes, sadly, they see themselves as worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone has that potential. Everyone can be their own best. Everyone has something to contribute.

We all have been given these gifts. It was not us. It was never all us. But it has been given to us and we must not waste it.

We have the strength. We have the potential. Let it come forth. The world is waiting for us.

Notes

  1. Devarim 8:18
  2. Derashot HaRa”n, drasha 10
  3. Viktor Frankl repeats this theme often in his books, most notably in Man’s Search for Meaning
  4. MMM 1 – The Gaava Song
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