Parshas Vayishlach!

Dear Family and Friends,

Lately on NPR, they have been talking a lot about climate change and sea level rise. The whole thing is starting to get to me and I don’t know if it’s the fact that Miami has been a little grey this week, but I am getting sea level rise anxiety! There are three things that could probably help, one being to stop listening to NPR and two is to work on my emunah and three move to south dakota! I think I will stick to option one and two for right now…but a thought on the parshah gave me some clarity.
When Yaacov goes to meet up with his brother (who hates him), he brings him gifts. Eisav tells Yaacov “ I have plenty, let what you have remain yours” and Yaacov replies, “Please accept my gifts which was brought to you inasmuch as G-d has been gracious to me and inasmuch as I have everything.” (33:11) Rashi point out the difference in the two brothers outlooks. The righteous feel that no matter how much or how little they have in absolute terms, they have everything they need. Eisav here is speaking boastfully, emphasizing the abundance of his possessions and proclaiming that he has accumulated more than he could ever want!
The above Rashi and lesson is one that is quite well known and simple. Righteous people are happy with what they have and the wicked always want more. I am not saying which category I fall into, but I have a running list at all times of “wants”. I can break it down into shoes, clothes, household items….and it can go on forever. I seem to be always adding to it and very rarely taking off items! This week is my 1- year engagement anniversary and I must say you can go on and on with wants, but I am so thankful in this present moment for all that I have been blessed with. Ok…I might still have a Chanuka wish list, but I stop remind myself of what truly matters to me and am so very thankful that Hashem has blessed me with all that I need and want.
So going back to my sea level rise anxiety, I realized that part of gratitude is living in the present. It is realizing the that we must be thankful for what we have NOW and not focusing on what we don’t have or worrying too much about what we will or won’t have tomorrow.
Best cure of anxiety: come into Shabbat and think about 3 things you are thankful.
1) My parents and in-laws are home from Morocco safe.
2) I am healthy and feel good.
3) I live in Miami where it is not snowing…
Have a beautiful and uplifting Shabbas and May we each have the clarity to always be thankful for the blessings G-d gives us!

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