Tuesday, March 5, 2024 -
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What’s the difference?

Dear Tzviling,

I really enjoyed your column discussing the body and soul, but I am still disturbed.

As a mechanic, I work on car engines, open their hearts, remove the valves, repair any damage, and then put them back in. And, when I finish, it works just like new.

So, tell me. How come I make $65,000 a year while a cardiologist earns a hefty $460,000 when we are both basically doing the same work?

Al, Aurora

Dear Al,

Try doing it with the engine running.

Dear Tzviling,

I enjoy reading your column (although I didn’t see it in a while) and had a question for you. I heard you say that we are created in G-d’s image. If that is the case, why are people so self-centered with a super-sized ego? Why do many people appear selfish?

Ginny, via e-mail

Dear Ginny,

Thanks for your encouraging words. Your question got us thinking.

Imagine you walk down the street.

What do you see?

Beautiful houses, shining cars and a beautiful garden filled with majestic trees and luscious fruits.

But then, you take a shovel and start digging.

What do you find?

Dirt . . .

Dear Tzviling,

That is precisely my question. You find a lot of dirt beneath the surface. You validated my point.

Ginny, via e-mail

Dear Ginny,

But wait! What if you dig deeper. Then what do you find? 

Water, minerals, perhaps diamonds. You see, if you don’t give up, you will find the hidden jewels. Ginny, you will encounter people in life who may display negative habits and attitudes.

But if you look deeper, search deeper, dig deeper, you will discover diamonds in others. And when you discover diamonds in others, you will realize the jewels within yourself.

Dear Tzviling,

Help! I recently lost my job and had to go on food stamps. I am Jewish and single. My friends keep telling me to be strong, that things will be better, but I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

My cousin — what a doll — told me to write to you. Can you help me?

Avi, Montreal

Dear Avi,

We were very touched by your letter and give you our blessings for easier times ahead. It has been said that when driving through the highway of life, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. We don’t know what G-d has in store for us.

Consider the following story:

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them on a quest: to go in turn and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second son in the spring, the third son in the summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said, “No,” it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed. He said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful. It was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them. He said it was ripe and dripping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all correct, because they had each seen only one season in the tree’s life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, nor a person, by one season alone, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life, can only be measured at the end, when all of the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, the fulfillment of your fall.

Don’t let the pain of one season define all of life. Don’t judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and the better times are sure to come sometime, and they may even redefine the challenges of the past.

As the old saying goes: Aspire to inspire before you expire.

Happiness keeps you sweet.

Trials keep you strong.

Sorrows keep you human.

Failures keep you humble.

Success keeps you glowing.

But only G-d keeps you going.

Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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