The King's Children
By Rabbi Raymond Beyda
"You are sons of Hashem your G-d"
Those who study psychology and personality development have been debating
a key issue for decades. What is the overriding factor in the personality
of a person -- environment or hereditary components like DNA? The trends
in scientific thinking on this issue swing back and forth but the experts
agree that if one does not develop self esteem one will be prone to
behavior that can be self destructive -even suicidal.
In his last words to his flock, Moshe Rabenu sprinkled his words of rebuke
with words of promise, hope and encouragement to those who would practice
what he preached -- a life of Torah observance. Unlike doctors and
scientist whose theories change as new discoveries are made, Moshe
Rabenu's words are based on the eternal, constant truth of the Torah. "You
are sons to Hashem your G-d," he told us -- not only as a pat on the back
but also in order to help future generations of Jews fight off the urge to
There once was a man who was poverty stricken. He went out daily to
attempt to earn an honest living but was constantly forced to go begging
from door to door in order to survive. One day he bought a Jackpot Lottery
ticket for a chance to win $150,000,000. Distracted by his problems, upon
arriving home he put the ticket in a safe place and got back to the battle
of survival. Unfortunately, he was the only winner of the $150,000,000
jackpot. Why do I say "unfortunately"? He never checked what the winning
numbers were and continued to live a life of struggle and pain until the
day he died.
The lesson is that for one to benefit from assets that one has one must be
aware of those assets. Moshe told the Jewish people: "You are not
commoners -- you are not like the masses that inhabit the Earth. You are
children of the King -- Hashem. As His children you are considered royalty
and along with that special status you will benefit from many privileges.
But don't forget that the honor comes with responsibility. You must now
dress like children of the King, talk like the monarch's offspring and
behave in every respect as representatives of His Majesty." Moshe Rabenu
told the people "Never forget how special you are." If one is uniquely
talented or wealthy and is unaware of his or her loftiness one will not
feel the benefits of one's riches. The greatest protection against sin --
the best insurance policy for avoidance of spiritual damage -- is to
realize that one is a child of the King. This knowledge will sensitize a
person to every word and deed and insure that he or she will only behave
in a manner befitting royalty. Moshe's message was "You are spiritual
multi-millionaires -- don't live life as paupers."
Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.