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Taking the Initiative

July 9, 2014

Sukka 52a:

R’ Judah expounded: In the time to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring the Evil Inclination and slay it in the presence of the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous it will have the appearance of a towering hill, and to the wicked it will have the appearance of a hair thread. Both the former and the latter will weep; the righteous will weep saying, ‘How were we able to overcome such a towering hill!’ The wicked also will weep saying, ‘How is it that we were unable to conquer this hair thread!’

R’ Judah’s analogy can be expanded more generally to explain the difference between those who take the initiative and those who habitually do not. Those who get up and do can eventually look back after all of their successes and remark about how much they overcame, whereas those who sit back and do not do will eventually look back and see how mistaken they were for not trying.

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