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The ME Generation

A man once came to his Rebbe and said "Rebbe Rebbe I need Parnassa!", "Rebbe Rebbe I need good health!", "Rebbe Rebbe I need a shidduch for my daughter!". After listening to this man go on for a while the Rebbe said "Have you ever stopped thinking about what you need in order to consider what you are needed for."

The great Austrian Psychologist Victor Frankl [whose approach, called Logotherapy, focused on finding meaning in one's life in order to help deal with depression] put it well when he said "Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked."

In other words the focus should not be on oneself and the fulfillment of one's personal needs and goals but on something greater and larger than himself. I feel funny writing such an idea. People, I suspect, will think that I am crazy [confirming what they might have suspected for quite a while]. The western mind is trained to instinctively be concerned with one's own personal goals and aspirations so the notion that one should strive to transcend them sounds [almost?] silly.

But that is the truth. And the truth must be stated. It's not about ME. It's about G-d, the Jewish Nation and The Redemption of Mankind. The BIG things. And all some people can think about is their stock portfolio or their basketball team or what they should have for lunch. And all some parents can think about is "Will my son get rich?". "Will my daughter marry a boy who is from a wealthy family?" Smallmindedness. In a world where one can aspire for so much more.

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Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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