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Monthly Alumnae Column

“If we were to have an Navi today…”: By Hudis Zlotnick (09-11)

Unfortunately, we are not zocheh to have a Navi come and tell us exactly what we are doing wrong and what we need to work on. Therefore, we must look deeply into what our generation struggles with, in order to become better people so we can merit the Geula.

One of the many things we struggle with is unity. How can we merit Mashiach if we cant even act as a nation together? The Jewish people are so divided into so many sects, with so many people blaming each other and judging each other. It’s almost as if we’re not one family. Even on an individual level, we must accept people for who they are. We must do things for others just because they’re another Jew. We know the concept that our zechusim are greater when we are unified as a tzibbur, and we also know that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinnas chinam. From here we can see the ramifications of machlokes between Jews and the importance of loving every Jew out there.

Something else the Jewish nation struggles with, is selfishness. We tend to think “magiya li“. Everything is I want, I need, what I feel. Society tells us to do what you feel is good and what you want. People automatically think of themselves first. How will this benefit me? What will I get out of this?

One of my pet peeves is when I am talking to a person and a third person interrupts me because she wants to say something to the girl I am talking to. That to me is rude and an act of selfishness. The girl obviously isn’t thinking and feels like she wants to tell the other girl something so she will, even if she’s interrupting a conversation. It’s natural for us to want to do what’s best for us, and to act and talk according to how we feel, but there is such a concept of helping others and putting others before yourself and thinking of others. When we act in such a way, we manifest the middah of Hashem and we become greater people.

A third issue the Jewish nation struggles with is emunah. The patience and attention span for a regular American is abnormal. Everyone always needs to be busy, if they’re not being entertained they can’t listen to a speech. Their focus lasts for maybe about a few minutes, until their minds get distracted and wanders elsewhere. We live our lives based on instant gratification and it’s very hard to do something now without seeing quick results. Without reward now, it is very hard hard to keep what’s right because we want to see instant happiness. We give into desires because it feels good now. We don’t have the patience to wat and if we don’t like it now, we don’t do it.

Torah however teaches us different. We believe in responsibilities and doing things because Hashem said so. We believe in reward at the end of our lives and we believe in doing what’s right even if it doesn’t feel right and relying on Hashem that He knows what we need. We believe in a greater being that knows the big picture and if it’s meant and if it’s meant to be it will happen.

Among the other issues we struggle with is accepting the yoke of Torah. I think this is one of the main things we struggle with. From this stems a lot of other issues. This issue is the root of many others. It’s very hard to think as if we got the Torah today, but that is how we are supposed to feel. How privileged we are that Hashem chose us to be part of the Jewish people?! Do we focus our thoughts and actions based on the fact that Hashem gave us the Torah and that without it we wouldn’t have a way of life? Do we view it as a burden? Yes, sometimes it’s hard and painful, but we must love it. Our day to day actions must revolve around the question, will this better me as a Jew or lower me as a Jew?Ad with this we can change our focus in where we are headed and make it easier to fulfill our job  in this world.

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