A Year of Growth

Friday, 27 September, 2019 - 8:03 am

How many good wishes for the new year have you received already? I receive them all the time, and it is actually nice to get them. I also received a decorative arrangement that wished me everything at once: a year of abundance, riches, happiness, nachas, health, prosperity, love, joy, growth, a good living and success.

Since I’m such a nudge, I asked the sender: “What among all those good wishes that you sent me is the most important to you?”

The answer was immediate, clear and sharp: “Health! Everything else is a bonus.”

Health is indeed important. So I thought and also wrote to him. But in my opinion the most important wish is “growth”: spiritual, emotional and personal. “Growth without good health? How?” I was asked. I don’t know if I am right, but I answered according to what I feel: “If I have remained the same person I was last year, so what purpose is there in my merely surviving?”

“Right, of course one has to go forward. But without good health we are nothing,” was his response, thus expressing the Jewish survivalist approach, common in Israel, which says “The main thing is health.”

“I don’t know what’s better,” I answered. “A healthy person who does not grow spiritually or a sick person who does?”

For some reason he agreed with me, and I understood that I have a short and to-the-point weekly letter for the last Shabbat before Rosh Hashana.

And so, I say to you, my dear readers: The coming year is upon us and we are all praying, hoping and wishing others a good, sweet year, a year of good health and joy, a good living and nachas from the children, but everything – everything – will be worth many times more if we do not forget to grow spiritually, emotionally and personally, as well as in every other dimension.

May we be successful!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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