Surround Yourself with People Who are Only Going to Lift You Higher
Freddy Hager was a well-known trader at the Diamond Bourse in London. In a private meeting with the Rebbe, he broke down in tears as he confided in him that companies in the Far East were undercutting the trade and they were impossible to compete with. The Rebbe’s advice was clear and concise: “Surround yourself with optimistic people.” Upon his return to his now-quiet office in London, he wandered around the lobby of the Diamond Exchange when he met William Goldberg, a rambunctious American dealer that Freddy’s soft-spoken British personality would normally avoid like the plague. Following the Rebbe’s advice, Freddy approached William and engaged in conversation. It didn’t take long before William purchased a quarter million-dollar diamond from Freddy—a deal that changed his life as he then became William’s representative in Europe, pivoting his career towards success during those uncertain times.
Click this link to watch the “Think Good, and it will be Good”: 1979 video: https://www.chabad.org/675634
Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want, not because you don’t deserve it, but because you deserve more. This is a foundational principle in Jewish spirituality that manifests in everything we do. The Torah tells us that G-d is our mirror: The way that He treats us is a mirror reflection of our state of mind—when we’re down and depressed, He withholds His blessings and when we’re upbeat and optimistic, He showers us with plenty. We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
This principle—which I call the Mirror Doctrine—is the key to understanding the excitement and modern-day relevance of the Purim Festival. A superficial reading of the story tells of the Jews facing the threat of annihilation at the hands of the Persian rulers of the time. Queen Esther’s risky appeal to King Achashverosh turned the tide in favor of the Jews. But when we apply the Mirror Doctrine, the story comes to life.
The rise of anti-Semitism in those Persian times was the result of G-d’s inattentiveness to his People. It seemed like G-d was asleep as he ignored the treacherous threats that the Jews faced. This was a direct result of the Jews’ own inattentiveness towards G-d as they turned their backs on Him by participating in the King’s hedonistic feast, despite the pleas and protests of their Rebbe, Mordechai. It was only when Esther inspired the Jews to turn back to G-d through their earnest three-day fast that G-d awoke from his silence and intervened to save his Chosen People. Our spiritual slumber is the cause of G-d’s painful silence. Our courageous awakening results in His doing the same.
And just like Freddy Hager who found success as he defied his reticent nature to befriend the boisterous American, we too can initiate G-d’s blessings upon us even if we don’t devote ourselves wholeheartedly to His Torah and Mitzvahs. You can do Mitzvahs today even if you have to force yourself a little bit. Don’t wait until you’re fully ready—that might never happen!
All Jewish Holidays celebrate the present as much as they do the past. May the timeless message of the inspirational Purim story inspire us today to become the creators of our own destiny. Give out what you most want to get back.
It’s time to master the art of the boomerang.
Rabbi Dovid Vigler
Chabad of Palm Beach Gardens
6100 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
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