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Feb. 23, 2020 - 28 Shevat 5780

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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
If You Think Life Is Bad, Don't Expect It To Get Better
Do you always feel like all the bad things in the world happen to you?  Nothing can go right and everything is always terrible?  If you really believe that, then you should expect more of the same in the future.

The gemara in Bava Basra (12b) tells the story of Rav Acha MiDifti who was nominated to become the next Rosh Yeshiva in Masa Machsaya, a great honor.  Before confirming him two messengers were dispatched to Mar bar Rav Ashi to obtain his approval.  Not only did he not approve but in a very underhanded way he ended up declaring himself Rosh Yeshiva.  Rav Acha then said about himself, "Kol HaMeriri'in Lo, Lo Bimheira Meitivin Lo", if someone was dealt a bad blow from Shamayim, he should not expect things to turnaround and become good.

This story raises two questions.  First of all why would the great tzaddik Mar bar Rav Ashi do such a thing?  Was he seeking to steal glory for himself?  Secondly why did Rav Acha become so despondent after losing his chance that he declared that he will never get his chance again?  How did he know?

The Ben Ish Chai in Ben Yeo'ada says that since Mar bar Rav Ashi knew after hearing Nevuah that he would be Rosh Yeshiva, he was scared that if Rav Acha gets the job he will die in order for the Nevua to come true.  He did this in the interest of saving Rav Acha's life, and certainly did not underhanded for his own glory.

Maybe we can offer B'Derech Drush that when Rav Acha found out this story he wanted to teach us an important lesson.  There is no such thing as something bad happening to a person.  Everything that happens to us is all for the good.  It may sometimes appear that we were cheated out of something coming to us but ultimately it is for our good. 

If anyone had a right to complain it was Rav Acha.  After all he was offered the job and accepted, until it was stolen from him.  After finding out what kind of great favor Mar bar Rav Ashi did for him and quite possibly saved his life, instead of being angry he realized the good in Hashem's ways.  He realized that nothing is for the bad.

"Kol HaMeiri'im Lo", whoever view events in their life as bad, "Lo Bimheira Meitivin Lo", it will be difficult for them to ever see the good.  Even if clearly goodthings happen they will see the bad in it.  Life is not a crystal clear path.  We don't understand why events in our happening or where they are leading us.  Even the little trivialities like losing a night sleep, nagging kids, or getting bumped and bruised are all good.

However "Kol HaMeitivin Lo", whoever sees life through the prism of goodness and focuses on finding the good in every circumstance he finds himself in, "Lo Bimheira Meiri'in Lo", he won't see any bad and will cruise through life with a big smile plastered on his face. 

Yehi Chelkeinu Imahem, let our lot be cast among these wise an happy people.  May we all be zocheh to a Shana Tova, a year where we experience only good.  It is up to us!

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