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Rabbi Zalmanov's Blog

This Blog constitutes primarily of articles written by Rabbi Eliezer Zalmanov in various publications.

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Inevitability

As a child, I remember my grandfather telling me once “Whatever could happen, has happened.” In other words, if something is possible, it will happen.

Of course, the only way one can know if something is possible, is if it happened. If something never happened, while in theory it may be possible, it is not proven until it actually happens.

I had the same thought today, when I witnessed what I consider the inevitable.

One of the advantages of living on a main street is that the Town gives it more attention than some of the side streets. In the winter, we’re one of the first to have the snow plowed; in the spring our potholes are the first to be filled; and every few summers, the entire road is repaved.

So, although the road in front of our house wasn’t in nearly as bad condition as some of the other roads in the neighborhood, nevertheless, being a major thoroughfare, the Town decided it was time for a facelift.

As the crews were working on the resurfacing, I rhetorically commented to Chanie, “How long do you think it will take for the cable company, or some other entity, to dig up a part the street?”

Well, today, less than a week after the resurfacing was complete, the first crews were out with their jackhammers, digging what is sure to be the first of many holes in our newly paved road.

Where am I going with this?

According to Kaballah, one of G-d’s unique capabilities is that His thought, speech, and deeds are all one and the same. Meaning, there is no difference between G-d thinking, speaking or doing; it all has the same effect. In fact, when the Torah describes G-d creating the universe, it says, for example, “G-d said ‘let there be light’ and there was light.” And the same description is used for all of creation.

When G-d thinks something, it is. The moment G-d wants something to happen, it happens.

Not being G-dly ourselves, the only way we know if something can happen is if it actually happens. For G-d, however, who is not limited like we are, it works the other way around. If it can happen, then it already happened.

Lesson from a Standoff

I was in the car yesterday, returning to Munster from Chesterton, and happened to hear a news item on the radio which got me thinking.

The report was of a standoff in one of Chicago’s southwest suburbs coming to a close with the person who had barricaded himself in a house for a few hours, shooting and injuring himself.

Though unfortunate, thankfully, no innocent bystanders were hurt, and things ended relatively simply.

Among the ramifications of the standoff, in addition to roads being closed and traffic backing up, was that the local school’s last day was postponed.

In the big picture, not a big deal, but here is where my mind began wandering.

One clearly deranged individual may have spoiled many people’s plans, just by standing in an empty building for a few hours, with a gun. Families that may have made plans for the day after school, or were looking forward to the beginning of summer vacation, now had to scramble to alter their schedules in order to accommodate the additional school day.

If an unbalanced person can affect so many people’s lives, just think how much a stable, healthy person can influence the world by a small act of kindness. And imagine how positively the world can be affected by millions of individual good deeds.

Don’t sit around waiting for your moment in the spotlight. Get out, do something good, and the spotlight will find you.

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