Many a times, we don’t value and appreciate what we have until we don’t have it; we take things for granted! Sometimes we don’t realize that we have something until we don’t have it. Our lives run on a routine that all the elements, equipment, and other things that we use and rely on, are not individually recognized by us, unless we loose them and suddenly our life changes without them; this is a human phenomenon.
An episode in Perashat Hukat reflects this phenomenon. Bene Israel, for forty years have been enjoying drinking the waters of Miriam’s Well. When Miriam passed away, the well ceased to exist. Our Sages, comment that the Well was for the Merit of Miriam; that’s why once Miriam passed on, the well ceased to exist. For forty years, Bene Israel were drinking from the Well without realizing its importance as a luxurious necessity, nor its miraculous existence. They were not appreciative of Miriam’s merits until they lost her and consequently they lost the Well and its waters.
How true this phenomenon is. As much as the world has changed in technology, the sciences and knowledge; however, human nature has not changed. How often do we find ourselves taking things for granted and only realizing the value of things after we loose them? We use our phone, computer, toilet, water faucet etc. on a daily basis and don’t realize how important they are until they brake or are lost. We seem to become paralyzed without them, as though life cannot exist without them. Even more tragic and sadder is when we don’t value people until after we loose them; a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend etc.
As we are approaching the summer season, where children are out of school, parents take time off to relax and enjoy the weather, teenagers and young adult try to find themselves diversion outlets to entertain themselves; we ought not to forget ourselves and not appreciate what we have. G-d has blessed us with life, health, freedom, wherewithal to enjoy life; lets not abuse it, lets not take it for granted. Lets measure ourselves in what we do and what we teach our children in the summer. The season is given so we could rejuvenate and regain our strengths to improve our ways. The season was not given to lose our control, or to abuse our bodies and souls, or to rid ourselves of any responsibilities.
Let’s pray and hope that the discerning wisdom that Hashem endowed us with, will protect us from our own misadventures.
Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie
Gates of the East – Shaarei Mizrah