Lessons from Eretz Yisrael
Do out of Love. Do out of Fear. A measure of pragmatism must always be used when dealing with human nature. A person can never be absolutely sure of his true disposition at any given moment.
Communal Responsibilities. Our Synagogues and communities abound with opportunities for the individual to step up and offer his or her services for the needs of the many.
Honor your Father and Mother. Even those of us who are not so fond of our parents or even worse hold grudges against them, somewhere deep inside of us still have a faint voice compelling us to honor them.
Turning the Evil Inclination to Good. Self-restraint alone often does not yield permanent results. Containing negative desires simply creates a barrier that is destined to burst. In contrast, Abraham created an outlet for his Evil Inclination, putting it to use in positive ways rather than simply holding it back.
Everybody Counts. It would be fair to say that many of us have personal peeves and dissatisfaction with our People. We, as a People also freely admit that we have much room for improvement.
Yielding. The lesson that the Talmud of Eretz Yisrael teaches us here is that yielding to the needs of others, especially to the disadvantaged is not beyond the letter of the law but the letter of the law. It is not an option but an obligation.
The Power of Prayer. The Talmud Yerushalmi teaches us that it is not entirely the quality of the person which moves God to respond to prayer, but the quality of the merit that the person earned! No Jew is too small, too simple or too obscure for God to overlook him.
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