ECONOMICS OF DESPAIR

The reading for this week centers on the building and rebuilding of the Tabernacle. It is said that the translation states or implies that Moses built and rebuilt the Tabernacle several times per day. 

The lesson offered by scholars is that life is a constant process of building and rebuilding. In today’s economic conditions, people are running into all sorts of tragic challenges. We offer compassion and empathy. Yet it is only when we suffer the same or similar challenges that we can truly empathize with another person who is striving to keep his family his home, his business or his job intact. 

Belief in spiritual process can help, but in life, you have to buy a ticket to ride. If you don’t DO anything, then it is unlikely that anything will change for you. You are not to drown in despair but remake yourself.

It is actually an exciting even if daunting process. “The Slonimer Rebbe uses this Midrash to teach us a vital lesson. Although we spend our lives toiling and struggling to build ourselves into sanctuaries – vessels worthy for the Divine Presence to rest within – there still may be times that we stumble and fall. Despite these low periods, however, we must never give up hope. Rather, we must rouse ourselves immediately and continue to strengthen and build ourselves, because it is forbidden for a Jew to fall into despair.”

Consider foreclosure and eviction. You have choices. You can find another place to live or challenge the right of the lender to foreclose. Chances are there were defects and flaws in the original documentation that can at least delay the process and possibly force the lender, who doesn’t want another house in their inventory, to settle or modify your loan. Call the lender and discuss it. File papers in Court even if you don’t have a lawyer. Rattle the cage, shake the branches, assert yourself as as human being who is not defined by fiancial trouble. 

Consider jobs. Do whatever you can to tackle those high profile jobs that your boss will recognize and be reluctant to consider letting you go. If you have already lost your job, consider retraining for another one or look around you and see if there is something that people need that you could provide in your own business.  

Consider Yourself: Who do you want to be. What model to you want to exemplify to your children, your spouse, your friends, relatives and acquaintances?  Answer the question! Then act on it.

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