On Monday evening, June 28, Rabbi Avraham Nissanian spoke on behalf of Eshel Avraham on the subject of wishing to live another person’s life. He began by speaking about the difficult events recently that all involved choking. The pandemic involved a deadly virus that caused choking, the people in Meron died of choking, and in the shul in Yerushalayim and now in the building collapse in Surfside. We are being sent so many reminders from Hashem that we all need to find our own happiness, which is right under our noses. We need to stop thinking that the grass is greener for others. Lack of achdus causes collapses.
He shared a mashal that taught that what we are looking for is really in our own backpack. “We are looking everywhere to find happiness. If we look under our own noses, we will see enough happiness for all of our lives.”
He quoted from the Chumash that it is not in heaven and it is not far across the ocean. It is in our mouth and in your heart. Rabbi Nissanian explained, “This is where you can find everything to get closer to G-d and to the real happiness of live.”
When Hashem wanted to give am Yisrael the Torah, He held it over them. He said, “If you accept my Torah, it’s good; but if you refuse, then there will be your graveyard. Why does the verse use the word “there”? Rabbi Nissanian taught that this is because a person always looks “there.” “There” he will find happiness. When he gets “there,” he discovers another there. The “there” you’re looking for is in your mouth and your heart. It’s in the Torah that you have to study. Open your backpack. You carry all the generations of the chachamim in your backpack.
In the future, Hashem will bring the yeitzer ha’ra and slaughter it in front of the righteous and the wicked. The yeitzer ha’ra starts slowly. For example, it tells us that there is no rush to go to shul today. Nothing will happen if you don’t bentch, etc. The yeitzer ha’ra starts with little things and this leads to major sins. One sin leads to another.
If a person is looking for happiness outside, he is disconnected from real life. Every hour, he lives the life of others. His life is not his life anymore, because he is always looking “there” for happiness and satisfaction. He says to himself that so-and-so has a palace; I will also build one. So-and-so has five cars; I will get six, etc.
When a person looks to be the other person, he will never be satisfied. It’s amazing that people will do everything in their power not to meet themselves for five quiet minutes and ask themselves what is the purpose for which I am living? What is my duty here in this world?
Most of us try to procrastinate this self-meeting. We say: After this event in my life, I will start. We are always postponing with another excuse to avoid a real confrontation with ourselves.
“Our body is limited. All the pleasures of this world are limited in time. They are temporary, while life with Torah has no limit. Everyone can enjoy it once they start learning Torah. With Torah, you will enjoy every second of your life.” Rabbi Nissanian added, “There is nothing greater than to lean on Hashem and to follow Hashem’s rules. This is the purpose of our life.”
He concluded, “Mitzvos are tools to help us to achieve happiness.”