Do you like getting sick?

Do you ever get a cold? How about back pain? Do you like being ill?  Of course not! At least mostly.

We don't talk about it much, but being sick has its benefits. You might get extra pampering, take it easy, relax, skip washing the dishes, mopping the floor, putting the kids to bed, and may even skip work!

While 99% of me doesn’t like being sick, there is that quiet little 1% that is okay with being sick, even if I won’t admit it to anyone.

The same is true for all problems that we have in life, like marriage, money, children, or moral and religious problems. Relationship problems are really just character flaws and blind spots which only become problematic once you're in a relationship or business.

All these problems give the benefit of not being forced to work on our blind spots. If we can accept a sub-par relationships or financial situations, we won’t have to deal with our darkest sides!

In other words, while all of our problems, called golus (exile) are overall unwanted, there's that 1% of us quietly satisfied with them.

In his last teaching, the Rebbe spoke about applying mesiras nefesh to our lives. Mesiras nefesh is a convert or die situation, which most of us will never face. Almost all Jews would give up their lives not to convert (and even the ones who don’t have some other breaking point).

While I would be honored to give up my life to sanctify G-d’s name (it is a tremendous honor that we shouldn’t seek, but be honored to fulfill) I’m sure that in such a position, I’d have a little voice pushing me to convert because I want to live. The phenomenon of mesiras nefesh - convert or die, is that the 1% tempting me, is won over in this moment of truth, when I accept the challenge and surrender myentire life to sanctify G-d’s name.

The rebbe encouraged us to use the same moment of truth tactics to rid ourselves of the 1% lingering desire for golus (exile).

Moshiach is here on a silver platter. Fifty years ago, the world didn’t have the tools to solve all the problems mentioned. But now, we do. Whether you have heath, marriage, parent-child, mental health, or money problems, know that the solution is out there. You just have to want it 100%, be determined to find it 100%, and have the courage to change the 1% of you that wants to stay in golus for its cheap benefits.

Shabbat Shalom, 

Rabbi Abrams


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