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The Greatest Distance in the World

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

“How stubborn can a person be?” asked Rav Efrem Goldberg, senior rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue on Shabbat morning. “Pharaoh sees water everywhere turning to blood. He suffers terribly from the plague of frogs and the plague of lice. Why doesn’t he do the right thing and free the Nation of Israel? Why is he so stubborn? All the signs around him point to the direction he should take. Yet the Torah is not just telling us about Pharaoh, but also about ourselves. In every one of us, a little Pharaoh is hiding, who knows exactly what needs to be done but doesn’t do it. Our sages have said that the greatest distance in the world is the distance between the mind and the heart. It’s the distance between what the mind wants to do and the actual doing. People know how much more they could exert themselves when it comes to their marriage partner and their children, how much more time and effort could be invested in learning, prayer, and doing chesed. No one needs to convince us. We just need to finally start doing these things. Each year the Torah sends us this reminder, that we should not make Pharaoh’s mistake.”


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