All Events and Situations are Neutral Until You Have Self-Talk About it
Realizing that your self-talk is a key factor of the way you view any event or situation allows you to understand the power of your self-talk.
Your self-talk is the key factor that decides whether you will live a happy life or an unhappy life; whether you frequently experience positive things or negative things. Your self-talk is the key factor that changes encounters with kind, friendly, helpful people into encounters with cold, selfish, and uncaring people, or vice versa.
When someone really comprehends the power of self-talk, he understands on a deep level that his life experiences depend on how he views them. Your outlook is the key to the quality of your life. The difficulty involved with dealing with potentially challenging situations and people depends on your viewpoint and perspective. Your viewpoint, based on your self-talk, makes the situation harder to deal with, or easier.
When you have a "good eye" and see events and people in a positive light, you will have a totally different experience than someone who has a "bad eye." With a "bad eye," you see problems and hardships and difficulties everywhere. With a "good eye," people treat you better and life events will work in your favor. You see opportunities, where those with a "bad eye" see misfortune.
Love Yehuda Lave
|Moses – Born for Leadership |
Published: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 12:33:13 PM
Although born to a noble Levite family, the son of Amram and Yocheved, Moshe had an upbringing in his formative years in the palace of Pharaoh, the mightiest world power of his day. Despite the fact that all the firstborn Israelite males that were born during the same period as Moshe were ordred killed by being cast into the Nile, G-d, through Hashgachah Pratit (Divine Personal Intervention), manipulated events so that Moshe would not only survive Pharaoh's deadly decree, but grew up a prince in the very home of the ruler that would have had him killed along with his Israelite bretheren.
It is even more compelling that Moshe also grows up in the very home of the ruler that he eventually confronts head on, challenges, and overcomes as he becomes the redeemer of Israel. The very fact that Moshe was raised by spending his formative years in such close proximity to the world's most powerful noblemen and rulers of the Egyptian royalty was in effect a Divinely engineered leadership training program, tailor-made for Moshe Rabbenu. If Moshe was to challenge and ultimately defeat the Egyptian political machinery to benefit his people, then it was certainly a pre-requisite for him to have a personal and intimate understanding of the inner workings of Egyptian leadership and what makes it tick, something that could only be attained by being raised in that royal environment from a very young age. Furthermore, Moshe,being born into the tribe of Levi and to parents as noble and righteous as Amram and Yocheved, inherited unique spiritual qualities for leadership. A Moshe can only arise as the product of such a home, dedicated to Jewish spiritual leadership. It is from this same home that Moshe's siblings, Aharon and Miriam, emerged and became distinguished national leaders in their own right. In fact, G-d tells the prophet Michah, "I brought you up from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves I redeemed you, and I sent my agents for you, Moshe, Aharon and Miriam." This verse teaches that G-d is an equal opportunity employer.
The Prince of Egypt
Posted: 24 Dec 2013 02:05 PM PST
Orthodox Jewish reactions to the Dreamworks movie "The Prince of Egypt" were generally negative. Moses was portrayed as being too young, and not holy enough; Aharon was portrayed in a poor light; Tzipporah was not particular tzanua; etc., etc. To be sure, there is what to criticize, including some inaccuracies that probably don't even occur to people; for example, the Torah does not describe Yocheved as dangerously floating Moshe down the river (although it makes for a terrific song in the movie), but rather as placing him in the reeds.
But there is one major theme in the movie which, while it probably grates on the sensitivities of some Orthodox Jews, is an important part of the story.
We're all brought up being taught that Moshe was the greatest tzaddik ever, and the Egyptians were the worst resha'im. And so when The Prince of Egypt depicts Moses as having a close relationship with Rameses, and being emotionally torn up when assisting in the plagues inflicted upon him, this makes some of us uncomfortable. But I think that this is an extremely valuable point in Moshe growing up in Pharaoh's palace to begin with.
Ibn Ezra says that the leader of the Jewish People could only be someone who grew up in such circumstances. Had Moshe grown up as a slave, with the lowly mentality of a slave, he wouldn't have had the confidence and character traits to be a leader. Attacking the Egyptian who was hitting the Jew, and saving the Bnos Midyan – Moshe was only capable of these things because he had grown up as royalty. But perhaps growing up as the prince of Egypt was also important as it placed him in a test that was crucial for his future as leader of the Jewish people:
"And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brothers, and looked on their burdens; and he spied an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brothers. And he looked this way and that way, and he saw that there was no man; and he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand". (Exodus 2:11-12)
Many years ago, I heard a terrific drush on this from Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopez-Cardozo, quoting Rav Shlomo Kluger: that we are being told here about the identity crisis of the prince of Egypt. When Moshe saw the Egyptian beating the Jew, "He looked this way and that way" – he looked at his royal Egyptian upbringing, and at his Jewish ancestral roots. "And he saw that there was no man" – he saw that he lacked a true identity. "And he slew the Egyptian" – within himself. "And hid him in the sand" – he totally detached himself from the Egyptian mindset, and aligned himself fully with the fate of the Jews.
This was the trial of identity for Moshe. Would he give up all the luxuries and familiarity of Egyptian culture, as well as the relationships from his life so far, to go over to "the other side" and reunite with the slave nation? Moshe passed the test. But I don't think that this trial of identity was only about his slaughter of the Egyptian. I think that, even if Moshe aligned himself fully with the Jews, it could not have been easy for him to leave Pharaoh's house, and to be involved with inflicting the plagues that harmed Pharaoh's home.
Consider this: as Rav Chaim Friedlander in Sifsei Chaim notes, a major theme of the entire Exodus is hakaras hatov (gratitude) - with two notable examples being Moshe not being able to smite the river and the dust, both of which saved him. Even though this was not a conscious act on the part of the river and the dust, Moshe nevertheless felt hakaros hatov towards them. Now, hakaros hatov is not an intellectual position; it is an emotional sentiment. If Moshe had this emotional connection, this feeling of gratitude, to the river and the dust, imagine how much of an emotional connection and feelings of gratitude he would have had to the home that raised him!
If we perceive Moshe as being Moshe Rabbeinu from day one, like all Gedolim are portrayed as being malachim from birth, then it's hard for us to imagine that he could have had these feelings towards Pharaoh's home. But if we realize that Moshe grew up as the Prince of Egypt, then we can certainly understand that his gratitude towards Pharaoh's home must surely have exceeded his gratitude towards the Nile and the dust. This is something that the movie does a good job of illustrating, and especially the pain that Moshe would have felt in his role with inflicting the plagues upon Egypt.
Feeling this distress, yet not letting it stand in the way of his vital job on behalf of his fellow Jews, was Moshe's akeidah. To be a leader requires tremendous dedication to the people. Moshe had to bring that dedication to light - by painfully giving up on his upbringing as the Prince of Egypt.
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