Friday, January 25, 2013

Look Up, Look Down

What is it that provides people incentive to pursue their goals? What is it that stops others, in the same predicament to quit or complain or try to ind a scapegoat?

We see it at clients, we see it inside our own offices, probably even at home sometimes. One can not just be "on" all the time. We look for inspiration all over the place and yet rarely find what we seek and instead try to regain our focus.

This is shown in this week's parsha in a few ways. First, the Egyptians, realizing they let the Jews leave Egypt are left uninspired by Pharaoh. Chapter 14:5 shows one example:

5. It was reported to Pharaoh that the people had fled; and Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, What is this that we have done, that we have released Israel from serving us?   ה. וַיֻּגַּד לְמֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם כִּי בָרַח הָעָם וַיֵּהָפֵךְ לְבַב פַּרְעֹה וַעֲבָדָיו אֶל הָעָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ מַה זֹּאת עָשִׂינוּ כִּי שִׁלַּחְנוּ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעָבְדֵנוּ:

They followed his orders and then wondered why. And now they needed to get them back and off they went. 

Israel was not much better, some of them complained also Chapter14:

11. They said to Moses, Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us to die in the desert? What is this that you have done to us to take us out of Egypt?   יא. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל משֶׁה הֲמִבְּלִי אֵין קְבָרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם לְקַחְתָּנוּ לָמוּת בַּמִּדְבָּר מַה זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לָּנוּ לְהוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִ

So much for 10 plagues and the splitting of the sea! This "what have you done for me lately" group was obviously not awed or inspired by any of these miracles.

And so as the parsha ends, we see Moshe has his hand sup to God and when the people looked at him, and likewise up to Heaven, they were victorious against their enemy Amalek. When Moshe put his hands down and gave the people nothing to look up to, they were losing. Chapter 17:11-12:

11. It came to pass that when Moses would raise his hand, Israel would prevail, and when he would lay down his hand, Amalek would prevail.   יא. וְהָיָה כַּאֲשֶׁר יָרִים משֶׁה יָדוֹ וְגָבַר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכַאֲשֶׁר יָנִיחַ יָדוֹ וְגָבַר עֲמָלֵק:
12. Now Moses hands were heavy; so they took a stone and placed it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one from this [side], and one from that [side]; so he was with his hands in faith until sunset.   יב. וִידֵי משֶׁה כְּבֵדִים וַיִּקְחוּ אֶבֶן וַיָּשִׂימוּ תַחְתָּיו וַיֵּשֶׁב עָלֶיהָ וְאַהֲרֹן וְחוּר תָּמְכוּ בְיָדָיו מִזֶּה אֶחָד וּמִזֶּה אֶחָד וַיְהִי יָדָיו אֱמוּנָה עַד בֹּא הַשָּׁמֶשׁ:

And so it is in business and life, as we watch people who gave us inspiration be knocked down as a false hope or because someone on our team dropped the ball. Either way, you do not have to always win, but you do need to find some inspiration.
Parsha Beshalach in the book of Shemot, 13:17-17:16 It is said that the Torah or Bible
could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom

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