July 17, 2024
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Be the Player, Not the Fan

There was a boy who was turning Bar Mitzvah and the Lubavitcher Rebbe wanted to give him some valuable advice. The Rebbe asked the boy, “Do you like sports?” The boy, a bit confused that this is what the Rebbe was talking to him about, said “Yes!” The Rebbe then proceeded asking him if he goes to any baseball games. When the boy said yes, the Rebbe asked if they had won the last game. The boy said the game wasn’t good. He and his father left after the 7th inning because they were losing badly. If it wasn’t strange enough that the Rebbe was speaking to this boy about baseball, it got stranger when the Rebbe asked if the players left.The boy, more shocked, responded, “Of course not, it’s their job to play the whole game and to stay the whole time, win or lose.” The Rebbe responded, “Just remember when it comes to your Avodat Hashem,be the player and not the fan. Don’t leave Hashem, and you will see that even the bad times are for the best. Be invested.”

In Parshat Shelach, 10 of the spies are the fans while the two other spies, Kalev and Yehoshua, are the players. While all the spies and Bnei Yisrael had Emunah (faith), the 10 spies and Bnei Yisrael were lacking something that only Yehoshua and Kalevand the players have, Bitachon (trust). It is one thing to believe in Hashem and that there is a God (Emunah), but it is another to trust that what Hashem does is for our best and that we should always stick by Him (Bitachon). May all of us have Emunah and Bitachon, and may our Avodat Hashem grow every day!


Shira Sedek is a Judaic Studies teacher at Ramaz Middle School who loves teaching Torah and inspiring her students.

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