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In the Face of Obstacles

Often a person’s life comes to a sudden halt because of an unexpected obstacle. And this new impediment exhausts all of his or her energy, such that there is no more time for anything else in life.

Life is filled with difficulties and obstacles. Like it or not we have to deal with them. They present themselves in a wide array of forms such as psychological obstacles, emotional obstacles, financial obstacles, and then there are the everyday, ordinary obstacles. Some of the obstacles take us by surprise, while others are “expected,” and still others “just happen.”

To deal with the myriad of stumbling blocks we are faced with there are infinite approaches. Walk into any bookstore, name your problem, and you can be assured to find someone’s advice on how to deal with it. In fact there is a whole segment of our society who make their living by helping people move through their obstacles.

Often a person’s life comes to a sudden halt because of an unexpected obstacle. And this new impediment exhausts all of his or her energy, such that there is no more time for anything else in life.

The great Chassidic master, Rabbi Shmuel of Chabad had a favorite aphorism which in the Yiddish language goes like this, “Lechatchila Ariber.” Literally translated, “To begin with Jump over.” The Rebbe was famous for inspiring those who came to seek his advice with this principle. He used to say, “The world says that if you cannot crawl under an obstacle, try to leap over it. However, I say do not even try to bend down and pass under it; leap over it in the first place!"

In other words when faced with an obstacle, rise above it. There seems to be a common reaction that allows the obstacle to consume us. An otherwise happy person can easily be thrown into deep depression or a prolonged state of confusion. And to these people the Rebbe would respond; If by Divine Providence, you are suddenly found with an obstacle before you, the sign before your eyes should be, leap over! Don't let things stand in your way. The way is not around it, or through it, or under it. You must go over it!

It could be that the obstacle before you has come to teach you not just to jump, but to show you that you can jump even higher! 

Shabbat Shalom!

J. Flo September 28, 2012 at 07:04 PM
That's beautifully wise and exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you, Rabbi!
Marilyn Sands October 10, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Wonderful

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