Impatience- The oyster

As our country and the world are moving toward “reopening” I wanted to share the following reflection.
According to the Chassidic interpretation, the three greatest sins of humanity involved impatience.

• First, Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge that was forbidden to them. They were created on the sixth day; had they waited, that incredible fruit would have been available for them to delight on Shabbat according to one Kabbalistic explanation.

• The second sin was the golden calf. Moses was six hours late descending Mount Sinai and in that short time, the Jews decided to build, worship and dance around a statue.

• The third great sin involved the story of King David and Bathsheva. According to the Talmud (Sanhedrin 107A) Batsheva was destined to David from the time of creation but he didn’t wait the right time to marry her. Instead of waiting, David sent Batsheva’s husband to the battlefront so he would be killed and took Batsheva as his wife.
Today, I would like to add a fourth sin to the list. Korach is the protagonist. In the book of Numbers we learn he was destined to be Moses’ successor. Instead of waiting the natural time for it, he started a revolt against Moses and Aharon. The consequences were awful, the rebellion ended when the earth “opened its mouth” and swallowed Korach and the rebels.
Patience is a scarce virtue and it’s important that we teach younger generations – and we also must embrace it ourselves.
A good example you can share with others is the case of the oyster.
The most extraordinary thing about the oyster, as you know, is what happens when sand causes irritation in its shell. A grain (or many grains) of sand enter into its shell and the oyster doesn’t like it. But it cannot get rid of the sand. The oyster then settles down to create one of the most beautiful things in the world: that grain of irritation is converted into a lovely pearl. But it takes time!
There are irritations in our lives today. Many irritations.
Our world has changed and we need to react to the many sand grains that continually enter our shells.
There is only one prescription; make a pearl.
It may have to be a pearl of patience but anyhow make a pearl.

Posted by Rabbi Fabián Werbin

3 comments

Rita liebowitz

As always dear Rabbi Werbin’s message gives purpose and strength to me and I am sure to all who hear/read his words of wisdom.

Susan Bruser

In a different time, under different circumstances your comments would be deeply felt and appreciated. But now, when the battle for civil rights is still being fought in the streets, many people are saying patience is an overrated virtue.

So beautiful…and timely!

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