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Release the passion

Friday, 15 January, 2021 - 2:13 pm


Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash 

Without exaggeration, the most important key to success is to always learn and grow. It’s not enough to simply be open to new ideas - that just means filtering new ideas through decisions we’ve already made and perspectives we’ve already developed.

Pots, pans, tools and the like need to be set and cured; once they’re made they need to be locked in place so that they don’t change with use. Humans, however, are different. In order to succeed, they need to constantly grow and develop; humans need to adapt and change.

A great way of ensuring your continued success, in whatever it is that you are doing - living, parenting, working or even retired, is to read. Many books have wonderful insight but there are none as deep and profound as the Torah. (If your perception of the relevance of Torah is from 6th grade in Hebrew School, it’s time you dusted it off and studied it as an adult.)

In this week’s Torah portion we continue the Exodus story, particularly regarding the first 7 of the 10 plagues. The plague narrative is more than about recounting the events that contributed to the devastation of Egypt, they are also guideposts for each of us to eliminate our own internal “Egypt”; the negative traits that limit us and distract us from achieving our purpose in life.

The 7th plague was that of hail. But this was no ordinary kind of hail - it had fire burning inside it! That’s right - miraculous hail. What can we learn from this peculiar combination of fire and ice?

Too often we concern ourselves with our own needs - at the expense of the needs of others. While we are passionate about things that are important to us and we pursue those things with much effort and enthusiasm, we can be distant and impatient with others; we act cold and indifferent to their needs. Just like the hail - fire on the inside and ice on the outside - we are passionate about our own agendas and indifferent to the priorities of those around us.

True success comes when we are able to “melt the ice” towards others; when we can be passionate about the concern of others too, not only our own. When we realize there is more than us and our agenda, we are able to grow and achieve much more than we could on our own.  

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