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Tetzaveh: Transforming Pressure Into A Catalyst For Greatness!

Are you under too much pressure?

Is the amount of pressure we are able absorb in our lives commensurate to our success? How does one thrive under pressure? The mystics enjoy using metaphors in order to convey abstract ideas . One of the most powerful is that of “light”. However in order to understand the idea we first have to deconstruct the metaphor. “Light” is generated as a result of the combustion of a fuel. Olive oil being one of many. But in order to produce the oil, the olive must first be squeezed. Sadly there is no other way! Our timeless mission statement as a people is to be “A Light unto the Nations”. Each and every Jew, both as individuals and collectively as a people, has been charged and empowered to shine their “light”. We do this by adding value both materially and spiritually to all mankind. Whether through Israel’s agro-tech, water irrigation, desalination, which can transform life in Africa. Or by our profound sense of responsibility and generosity of spirit which has inspired Jews around the world to be among the worlds social activist and leading philanthropist. Or by living meaningful lives consistent with spiritual and moral values that have been endowed to us by our creator which in turn provides clarity in an age of profound confusion. However in order to create this light we first need the olive oil. And this is only available to us if it is “squeezed”. Value is added in the lives of others only when someone is prepared to make a sacrifice. In order to produce our own “oil” we have to endure the “squeeze”. We can only shine our “light” when we invite “pressure” into our lives. Living in the “comfort zone” doesn’t produce “light”. On the contrary, life becomes boring as a result of our senses becoming dull. If our inner “oil” is not being consumed by the sacrifices we make, which in turn “illuminate” the world around us, then it will spoil. It’s purpose is to shine. Pressure is debilitating when it has no meaning. Imbued with purpose, pressure serves as a catalyst to produce the greatest “light” which is capable of dispelling all darkness.

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