Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Eikev

Rabbi Label Lam

Watch yourself, lest you forget Hashem, your G-d, by not observing His ordinances and His decrees, which I command you today. ( Devarim 8:11)

Why doesn't the Torah express the commandment mentioned above in a more affirmative language? We could be reminded to remember Hashem and not in the form of not forgetting. What is the difference between being told to remember and being told not to forget?

The Dubner Maggid, one of the great raconteurs of all time, told the following cute story that may help us understand. A certain person was deep in debt to many people. He was presently incapable of paying back all of his creditors. He didn't know exactly how to face all the people owed serious money and how he was to develop an equitable formula for paying each back partially. Would they even accept the offer of a partial payment or would they each insist on the total?

One of the debtors to whom he owed the largest sum approached him and offered a brilliant strategy to escape partially from his quandary. He gave him the genius advice to feign madness when one of the others came to his door. They would realize that the pressure had driven him crazy and give up hope of recovering any part of their loss.

When the first creditor knocked on the door and demanded his 50 thousand dollars the fellow started scratching himself like a chimpanzee, screaming and hopping like a primate. He swung like a monkey from the chandelier and rolled on the ground chattering the whole time like a while beast. Seeing this he closed the door in despair and left.

The next man on the stoop insisted he be given his 40 thousand dollars immediately. Acting like an infant he crawled on the floor calling for mommy. He then suddenly jumped into the man's arms hugging him and kissing him while calling him "daddy" excitedly. The man was so shocked and horrified by the scene he screamed and ran away determined not to return again.

The next one expecting his 60 thousand dollars witnessed the bizarre spectacle of the indebted acting like a total lunatic. He let saliva run in his beard and drunkenly swung his arms wildly while shouting nonsensically. After such a display of total madness he disappointedly let go hope of ever seeing his money.

Finally the one to who he owed the largest sum, the same one who had given him the great advice came knocking at the door. Immediately he began one of his absurd routines. Realizing it was not working he went into his second act. Then in desperation he acted out the third play only to find that the creditor stood silently and unmoved by the histrionics. The man at the door interrupted any future performances by declaring, "Acccchhhhem! You can't pull this trick on me. I'm the one that gave you the advice!"

The Chovos HaLevavos (Duties of the Heart) explains that amongst the things to be grateful to The A-lmighty about is the ability He has granted us to forget. If we would remember everything which has occurred to us as if it were presently happening we would be in a state of constant pain, embarrassment, and mourning. Thank G-d A-lmighty we are able to bury bad experiences and not have to keep living them "in the now." The ability we have to remember selectively is a profound gift for which we can all feel an abundance of gratitude. One thing asks The A-lmighty, is to remember that I'm the One who granted this great gift and gave you this advice, so to speak, to drive away haunting and negative thoughts. Consequently, be sure not to use it to forget Me!"

Amongst all the forces competing for our time and attention there is one bill we must always pay. Like the fellow standing on the proverbial limb of the tree he can saw off any branch within reach, all but one.

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

How?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

With A Kiss
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Who Makes Up The Rules?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Manifestations of Mourning
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Our Consolation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Longest Journey Ever
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

A Question of Faith
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Marriage Vows
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

ArtScroll

Passion for Kavod
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

You Canít Get More Local or Global Than That!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

On the Road Again (to Repentance)
Shlomo Katz - 5762

> Kinder and Gentler Killers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

An Ounce of Prevention
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Your Flattery Will Be The Death of Me
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

A Future Built on the Past
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information