Snippets From Our Sages


A digest of links and messages that re-affirm the importance of being well and resilient



The cruelty of the Egyptians towards Benei Yisrael perhaps alerts us not to treat ourselves with this same kind of cruelty, not to impose upon ourselves tasks which we are not cut out for, and to instead enjoy the most precious aspect of freedom – the freedom to maximize our own unique talents and our own unique potential, and to make the decisions and reach for the goals that we truly believe are right for us.

- Rabbi David Silverberg, SALT Short D'var Torah for Shemot; see full article at https://www.etzion.org.il/en/salt-parashat-shemot-2 

Rather than live passively, waiting to see how we will be “drawn” from our current condition to a different one, we are to utilize our God-given talents and capabilities to “draw” the world from its current condition to a better one.  What defines us is neither the good fortune we have enjoyed nor the misfortunes we have endured, but rather the decisions we make and the work we invest to develop ourselves and to make the most significant contribution to the world that we are capable of making.

- Rabbi David Silverberg, SALT Short D'var Torah for Shemot; see full article at https://www.etzion.org.il/en/salt-parashat-shemot-2

"We might have thought that unlike physical needs, which present themselves on an ongoing basis, spiritual needs, once cared for, never return.  We perhaps would have assumed that in our youth we need to learn and struggle to establish the right patterns and build the right habits, but afterward, we require no “redemption,” as our success is assured.  The Midrash, according to the Sheim Mi-Shmuel, advises that spiritual success is a constant, ongoing, daily struggle, no less than our constant, ongoing, daily struggle to meet our physical and material needs.  We must be prepared and determined to meet the challenges that are “mitchadeish…be-khol yom,” which we confront on a daily basis, and recognize that daily struggle is part and parcel of religious life."

- Rabbi David Silverberg, SALT Short D'var Torah for Vayechi; see full article at https://www.etzion.org.il/en/salt-parashat-vayechi-2 


If we insist on always staying on the same precise route, we limit ourselves.  The challenge, then, is to keep our eyes open for new opportunities without falling prey to the distractions and lures all around us; to adhere to the course of life that we are to follow while constantly seeking new ways to make the journey more productive and more fulfilling, ensuring to avoid the diversions that threaten to draw us off the correct path. 

- Rabbi David Silverberg, SALT Short D'var Torah for Vayishlach; see full article at https://www.etzion.org.il/en/salt-parashat-vayishlach-2 



"Just as it is false to overstate the perfection of our heroes, so it is false to undervalue their spiritual achievements. Rather, we must study their lives honestly, recognizing that these are remarkable individuals who reached great heights—and who had to struggle mightily to attain their levels of religious insight and righteousness.  Their failings can be as instructive to us as their successes."  

Rabbi Marc D. Angel, "Biblical Heroes, Imperfections, Truth"; see full article at https://www.jewishideas.org/biblical-heroes-imperfections-truth-thoughts-parashat-lekh-lekha



As important as it is to passionately and diligently work to fulfill our dreams and realize our aspirations, we must be satisfied with the realistically best outcome.  If we stubbornly insist on nothing other than perfection, we are setting ourselves up for a life of disappointment and frustration.  In every area of life, we should strive for the ideal but be prepared to accept and be satisfied with less, humbly acknowledging that life is not meant to be, and will never be, perfect, and we can live happily and contentedly even if not all our ideal preferences are met.

- Rabbi David Silverberg, SALT Short D'var Torah for Hayyei Sarah; see full article at https://www.etzion.org.il/en/salt-friday-24-cheshvan-5780-november-22-2019 


The moral challenge for each of us is this: What do we do in the moment when we see something on social media that reinforces everything we want to be true? Do we type up something snarky and spread the story? Or do we be our own lie detector and make sure the entire story has been fleshed out?

- Salena Zito, "Our 90-Second Culture"; see full article at https://www.creators.com/read/salena-zito/10/19/our-90-second-culture