Sunday, January 9, 2011

Are You a Beeper or a Pusher?

Rabbi Fischel Shachter related a touching story. His car got stuck in the middle of a hill in boro park on a Friday afternoon. Cars were honking and beeping at him, and a truck behind him stopped. The driver was a chassidish man, and he asked Rabbi Shachter what the problem is. When he found out that the Rabbi Shachter's brakes stopped, he turned around and said to the drivers: "what are you all waiting for? Get out and push!" And around a dozen men got out and pushed his car all the way to the mechanic.

Rabbi Shachter shared a profound thought that occurred to him at that moment. After 120, when you go up to Shamayim, you will be asked what kind of person you were in this world.
There are two categories: those who honk & beep and those who get out & push.

In other words: are you a person who gets angry, depressed, and frustrated when you deal with adversity, or do you try to make a difference and actively make the best out of your situation?

If someone upsets or offends you, do you get mad at them and lash out at them? Or do you try to give them the benefit of the doubt, do your best to forgive them, and pray for them to have opportunities to do teshuva and grow closer to HaShem?

If you hear that someone is sick, do you just say "aw man, that's too bad" or "that's terrible! Why him?!" or "wow, he needs as many teflliot as he can get! I'm going to say a perek of Tehillim for him." And if you can't say a perek of Tehillim - how about a heartfelt tefillah in your own words? "HaShem, I just heard that my fellow Jew, ploni ben ploni, is ill. How much pain he must be in...
please, G-d, Master of the Universe, send him a speedy and full recovery. Please help him feel better."

There are people who scream. And then there are those who push.

The one who mainly beeps (screams) is just reacting a lot and giving in to his impulses, but l'maaseh, he doesn't DO anything to change his situation for the better. If anything, his negative reaction just make his situation worse and even more disasterous! At that point, he gives into despair. He's pessimistic, he's helpless.
The one who pushes, however, proactively hopes for the better. He has emunah, he prays, he's optimistic, and he fights through the situation, building his character and improving his situation! He knows that everything is for the best and that he can make a change. Nothing is out of the reach of his potential!

You have to keep going in life to get anywhere! Trust in HaShem; He runs the world. He is the best friend you can ever have. He's never too busy for you; He's always there for you...24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He's understanding, merciful, forgiving, kind, giving, and All Mighty. He knows your each and every fiber, thought, and emotion. Your financial situation, your health, your family, your maritial status, your grades at school -- He completely knows your situation; there are no secrets with Him. Nothing is impossible for Him. He loves you more than you can even fathom.

As David Hamelech writes in Tehillim: "G-d is close to all who call upon Him."

Shavua tov :)


  1. Hasya Ya'ara - glad you found chizzuk in them!

  2. Wow. Wow. Wow.

    That's really amazing.

    And it's incredible to be able to take such a powerful lesson out of such a seemingly 'regular' situation!

  3. Devorah - I was also blown away! I tremendously enjoy Rabbi Shachter's insights. If you're ever in the need of a good shiur, check out his stuff on :)

  4. I wish I had the time to listen to the shiurim - at least I can get some little snippets from your blog! :-)

  5. Devorah - yes, I know what you is very difficult to find the time. There're methods though...for example, uploading shiurim on your ipod and listening while exercising, on the train, walking to work, etc.
    Or playing them on the computer while cleaning the house or doing the dishes.
    But even if one has time, it's still so difficult because the yetzer hara can be strong! I'm embarrassed to say that there are days where I'm on the train, and I have the option of listening to a wonderful shiur, or a mellow rock song...and I choose the latter.

    I'm SO happy that you enjoy this snippets, but they hardly do the original speakers justice!