A Realistic Future by Michael Winner/6/24/2016 In Shema, we read, “Teach them thoroughly to your children and speak of them while you sit in your home, while you walk on the way . . .” Being that we don’t own a car, I do a lot of “walking on the way.” This “semester” in the kollel we’ve been learning the halachos of mezuzah, in depth. It’s actually a very interesting subject (which surprised me . . . Israeli submarines need them, by the way, and it’s a big question whether the gates of the Old City of Yerushaliyim should have them). Now, wherever I walk, I see different types of doors, gates, and other things that are questionable. So, I find myself stopping, looking and thinking about each thing and whether there is an obligation or not, and if so, where. One of the joys of learning practical halacha in-depth. “The rabble that was among them cultivated a craving, and the Children of Israel also turned, and they wept and said, ‘Who will feed us meat? We remember the fish that we would eat in Egypt free of charge . . . .” (Bamidbar 11:4-5) The above pasuk is not translated correctly. It is how it is commonly translated, but it is not entirely correct. Really, the ending should read, “We remember the fish that we WILL eat . . .” I once heard a talk from Rav Yaakov Leonard, who quoted somebody (whose name I don’t know) from Los Angeles, who explains the pasuk as follows: “We remember, when we were in Egypt, how we thought we were going to eat fish for free.” Being that they were not remembering the fish they ATE, nor is it possible to remember the fish that they were GOING to eat, but they remember how in Egypt that THOUGHT that they WILL be eating fish for free, and that THOUGHT is what they remember. They thought that they were going to be “living it up,” not realizing that freedom from Egypt will be replaced with Torah and mitzvos. What do we learn from here? One lesson for two groups of people. The first lesson goes to those in Jewish outreach, who teach the non-religious or those who are on the weaker-end. A person cannot make promises that do not exist in the Torah. One cannot promise somebody, “Yeah, if you become religious, your life will be like X, Y & Z.” Sometimes, promises of “Your life will be wonderful and smooth and you’ll have no worries,” are, in reality, tricking a person. A person should be keeping the Torah because it is truth and it WILL lead you to greater heights. However, it does not necessarily mean that it’s an easy, smooth ride. Years down the road, the same person might turn around and say, “Hey! I remember those promises on what life was going to be like, and it’s not!” It’s one of the biggest pitfalls that an outreach worker can fall into. This lesson can be and should be applied to us on an individual level as well. When we work hard to improve ourselves in whatever aspects, we must remain cognizant that the results might not look as "romantic" as we thought they would be. One shouldn’t think, once I work on this, then certain issues in my life will go away, because if they don’t, depression can easily follow. Our job is to work hard on whatever issues we have, but we should never be discouraged if the results are not what we expected. Sometimes it’s the battle that we wage that is what is important to Hashem, not necessarily the outcome. We should always move forward, davening for success, but at the same time knowing that even if that success is not as sweet as we thought it would be, we must continue to move forward. Have a wonderful Shabbos!