This week’s parshah begins with the verse, “Behold, I set before you today blessings and curses” (D’varim 11:26). Moshe Rabbeinu was conveying a simple yet profound message to our ancestors. Life is filled with choices and there are blessings and curses. If you follow in the way of Hashem, blessing awaits. If you ignore your spiritual responsibilities and engage in negative behaviors, there will be consequences. Each and every day, these two paths are in front of us and we must choose which one to travel.

The great chasidic master, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810) gives a slightly different interpretation and teaches us an important lesson. Hashem gives us circumstances, and it is up to us to decide if it will be a blessing or a curse. Everything Hashem does is good; sometimes we see and understand the good and sometimes the good is obscured by difficulty, pain, and suffering, but the result is always tov (good).

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the travails of the day and lose sight of the blessings in our lives. It is also easy to take certain privileges for granted and stop being consciously grateful for them. We must choose how to look at life. It is easy to see the good times as blessings, but are we able to see the blessing in adversity?

May we all strive not to lose sight of our blessings and, in recognizing them every day, merit increased peace and joy in our lives

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