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Sunday, January 29, 2023 - 7 Shevat 5783
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Who’s in Charge?
Do you control your life, or does your life control you? This is a question commonly asked by life coaches of their clients. Life coaching is a field that encourages people to take charge of their own lives. Rather than allowing their lives to be dictated by rapidly changing circumstances, people are invited to experience a different quality of life, one where they determine their own path. But how does this work out in the real world? An important aspect of success is flexibility – realizing that a plan isn’t working and redrawing the road map. Sometimes we have to accept that we can’t have everything we want, and prioritize between multiple options. We also need to be alert, to seize unexpected opportunities.

One of the techniques utilized in the field of life coaching is, “Is this working for you?” Why do we do what we do? What is the objective? Are we just trying to fulfill the expectations of others, or are we working to fulfill some goal of our own? What is the overarching theme or purpose of our lives? *

Our forefather Abraham was not asked. He was told.

"Go forth from your land, your birthplace and your father's home, towards the land that I will show you." G-d commands Abraham to forsake anything that is comfortable and familiar to him, and set out on a harsh journey, with no clear idea of his final destination.
Abraham had already established a life for himself in Ur Kasdim. In one moment, G-d appeared to him and commanded him to leave everything that he had built up, and move to a strange land. Before sending him on this journey, G-d blesses Abraham: "I will make you into a great nation."

At that moment, who was in control? Was Abraham taking control of his life, or relinquishing it? Abraham realized that while he might have been living a successful, conventional life, there was something missing. He was grounded in the habits of his land, his birthplace, his father’s home. By choosing to follow that Divine voice, Abraham willingly and consciously let go of his past. He opened himself up to live a life without boundaries, without limitations, without expectations. And in doing so, he made himself a vessel to receive G-d’s blessings, to become a great nation.


Before descending to earth, each soul is in a treasury of souls in heaven. It has no physical cares or worries; it is involved only in the most sublime spiritual pursuits. Then comes the difficult moment: The soul is chosen for a mission, to descend to earth. It cries, it protests, it resists. It knows that it will have to leave the comfort of the divine light, to do its work in the shadows of the physical world.

Before the soul descends, G-d gives this command: "Go forth from your land." To perform our soul's mission in this world, we must set aside our personal habits and tendencies, and go "towards the land that I will show you"--the G-dly mission for which we have descended to the world.

To follow this divine voice is to truly take control of our own lives, to experience the purpose for which we were created. We need only to develop the awareness of where we are going, and why. The culmination of our all our efforts is to bring the Geulah – a state where all of us will live a life of satisfaction and self-actualization, an ultimate balance between body and soul, purpose and pleasure.


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