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Target Practice

The commuter train arrived at the station and passengers waiting on the platform inched closer to the yellow safety line maneuvering for position for first entry onto the train and best seat selection. Jonathan barely lifted his eyes from his newspaper as the people scrambled to the available seats.

"Good morning Jonathan", said his new neighbor, "Long time no see".

"Hi Ralph -- What's doing? How are the wife and kids?"

After exchanging niceties the conversation led to business. "So how is your business?" inquired Ralph.

" I guess it is O.K.," replied Jonathan.

"Did you hit your targets for sales and profits?" was the follow-up query.

"I guess so", came the reply, "Do you think the Yankees will be able to come back and win this year?"

Jonathan changed the subject because he had no way of answering Ralph's question. You see he had no real way to measure his performance because he had no set goals to meet or beat. Some people intentionally avoid making specific plans so that they will not fail to meet the projection. They don't realize that a sales or profit goal is a target they can shoot at -- and if they miss at least they are close to where they might like to be. Without a target they can't aim in the right direction and they may end up miles away from their desire -- and in the wrong direction too!

In business neglecting to write specific plans is a formula for failure. In the area of self-improvement it is dangerous. In achieving spiritual growth it is a fast track towards disaster. One must set a high standard and go for it. The winds of confusion and distraction will always interfere with a smooth course to the finish line but with an eye on the target one can reach the goal.


If one leaves a rest room one must make netilat yadayim -- ritual washing of the hands. This rule also applies to rest room facilities on airplanes and trains.

If one touched his or her shoes -- one must wash hands. If one removed one's shoes without touching them no washing is necessary. Should one try on a new pair of shoes for sizing -- he or she need not make netillat yadayim so long as the old pair of shoes was not touched.

[Source: Yalkut Yosef, Sheerit Yosef, volume 1, Siman 4:20,21]


A person is commanded to be more on guard to protect his or her thoughts and feelings than one is required to guard one's property.

Rav Avigdor Miller zt'l

Text Copyright © 2003 Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Project Genesis, Inc.



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