5 Heshvan 5767, October 27, 2006

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More About Change
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2006 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

Life is always moving.  Every day, every moment, something is happening, somewhere.  New things are introduced, old things continue; sometimes they collide, sometimes they combine.  Change is inevitable; change is ongoing; change is the way of life and the Way of Heaven.

There is change and there is change.  Although I use the same word to describe it, not all change is the same.  There is change for the good and there is change for the bad.  Sometimes change is out of our control and sometimes it is very much under our influence.  How much influence we can have or cannot have is also subject to change.

One with wisdom knows that change is inevitable.  Therefore the wise never cling to that which is one moment here and gone the next.  This is true of ideas, feelings and physical things.  One who is wise recognizes the flow of life and the ways of change. 

The wise flow along with change and adapt to it; in this way the wise are not subject to change other than by choice. As the rivers of life flow and bring inevitable change the wise float through life’s streams, adapting, accommodating, absorbing good and rejecting bad. 

Being that they do not resist the ever-changing flow of life, the wise have the ability to grasp what they wish and resist what they wish.  For as strong as any force against them may be, the wise know that such strength is also subject to change.  The wise know they need resist only for a short while for then the flowing river of life will bring them to a different place and different circumstances. 

The wise thus learn that when a mighty storm approaches, this is not the time to stand tall like a mighty oak tree.  Trees snap before the mighty gale winds of a storm.  In times of trouble the wise learn to lay low, they become like simple grass and reeds.  Reeds and grass bend in the wind, they are blown about, but when the storm passes, they have survived. 

Learning to bend like a reed in the wind is a sign of wisdom.  Standing tall like the mighty oak is a sign of power.  There is a time for power and there is a time for wisdom.  Change dictates this.  This wise who embrace change recognize the flow of time as we traverse the rivers of life.  Thus, the wise survive, undetectable as the grass under foot.

In order to survive change, the wise seek not to embrace that which is blowing away.  The wise seek that which is truly permanent.  They recognize that which cannot be blown away.  They know well that which is above the influence of the rushing waters of the rivers of life.

That which is truly permanent cannot be learned from a book; it cannot be acquired in the market.  That which is truly permanent is of Heaven, for everything on earth is by nature ever changing and flowing.  Heaven is the bedrock and foundation upon which the earth stands. 

One who embraces anything of Heaven stands secure and firm.  One must therefore learn to think like Heaven, feel like Heaven and act like Heaven.  In this way, do the wise add to their wisdom and become ever stronger, all the while they still appear as the grass under foot and like the reed that bends in the wind. 


Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok

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