Distance versus Effort

Distance versus Effort

We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone, until those smiling possibilities are dead. -William James

distant-mountainsThere are goals that appear as mirages in the distance. We say to ourselves that we can never reach them. It’s not even worth the effort. Were we to make a mathematical calculation as to how far we think our efforts can take us, of how much ground we can cover in a limited amount of time, we are likely to give up before we even began.

The Sfat Emet in 5631 (1871) makes a statement that doesn’t conform to the standard laws of physics. He speaks about the study of Torah, that most fundamental and vital of our daily obligations. He explains that if one sees a study goal that is far, perhaps unreachably so, but commences nonetheless, he affects a change on the space-time continuum. Suddenly, the goal is much closer than you ever imagined. The metaphysical intention changes the physical reality. Your goal will be within reach.

However, if we don’t even take the trouble to start, that noble goal will remain infinitely distant, forever beyond our reach, merely for lack of real effort.

May we plan, commence and pursue noble goals, as ambitious as they may be, and may we see them fulfilled rapidly and fully, with great benefit.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova,



To the memory of Shimon Peres.

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