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Everything Has a Purpose

Welcome to the year 5781. While the rest of the world is waiting for 2020 to end, the Jewish year is over and a new one has just begun. As we reflect on the chaos and uncertainty that has come to define our lives over the past 6 months, it’s important to realize that G-d is with us in every challenge and circumstance. Kaballa teaches us that G-d is all good and therefore its incumbent upon us to discover the opportunity and blessing in every situation. 

One of the holiest prayers on Yom Kippur is the Nesaneh Tokef, in which we read “On Rosh Hashana it is inscribed and on Yom Kippur It Is Sealed…” 

They tell a story about a king who was very fond of a particular advisor who always saw the positive, the silver lining, in every cloud. No matter what transpired, this advisor would say, “It’s for the best.” 

One day the king, accompanied by his favorite advisor, went hunting. The advisor, who was good in giving advice, but a schlemiel in hunting who couldn’t hit the side of a red barn from five feet, aimed at a deer in the distance, but shot king’s little finger instead. 

True to form, the advisor immediately proclaimed: “Your highness, it’s for the best.” 

For the best, cried the king hopping mad and in pain, I’ll show you what is for the best, and promptly ordered his favorite advisor to prison. 

A year went by and the king went hunting alone. Lacking proper guidance the king advanced ahead of his entourage and suddenly found himself surrounded by a group of cannibal hunters. Horrified the King was taken prisoner and the cannibals prepared for a feast. 

The King was brought before the tribal chief for a closer inspection, the King had a lot of meat on him, but the tribal chief sighed in utter disappointment. 

I am so sorry he told his tribe, but tasty as this man looks we will have to forgo our meal. This man is missing a finger and our laws do not permit the meat of a defected body. 

The king was released and soon rejoined his entourage. 

Overjoyed, he couldn’t arrive at the prison quick enough where he immediately freed his best friend the advisor. 

‘You were right’, he cried as he approached, it really was for the best; you see my missing finger saved my life and look at how I treated you for saving my life. I am so very sorry can you ever forgive me.

Forgive you asked the advisor, for what? Arresting me was the best thing that could have happened to me. 

How can you say that, demanded the king? 

Because, replied the advisor, had you not arrested me I would have been in your company today and I, proclaimed the advisor, spreading out his hands, have ten fingers… 

May G-d inscribe each of us in the book of life and may we only experience revealed good this coming year. Shanah Tova.

Rabbi Shuey Biston
Outreach & Program Director
Chabad of Parkland