From Aish: Marc Chagall Today I shall ...
- 6 Nisan
This date marks the death of Marc Chagall (1887-1985), the greatest Jewish painter of modern times. Chagall's work depicted biblical and Judaic themes, as well as village life in eastern Europe. Chagall's style is dreamlike, relying heavily on symbolism such as fiddlers, candlesticks and cows. With the German occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews to concentration camps, Chagall fled from Paris to America. (He moved back to France after the war.) Chagall created a mural for the Knesset, and stained glass windows for the synagogue of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Today, a Chagall original can sell for more than $10 million.
Man is judged each day (Rosh Hashanah16a).
A disciple of the Baal Shem Tov remarked to him that the above statement appears to contradict another Talmudic statement, which states that a person is judged on Rosh Hashanah for the entire year.
The Baal Shem Tov noticed a water carrier passing by. "How are things with you, Chaikel?" he asked. "What can I tell you?" Chaikel answered. "In my old age, I still have to earn my meager bread with backbreaking work."
The Baal Shem Tov told his disciple to remember Chaikel's words.
Several days later, the water carrier again passed by. Again, the Baal Shem Tov inquired as to how things were with him. "Thank God," Chaikel said, "if at my age I can still provide for myself byshlepping water up the hill, I have no cause to complain."
The Baal Shem Tov then told his disciple: "Both Talmudic statements are true. On Rosh Hashanah, it was decreed that Chaikel will be a water carrier this year, but how Chaikel reacts to this decree can vary from day to day."
While our particular station in life may be the same, we react to it differently from day to day. We thus have the option to react more favorably and less favorably to the very same conditions.
Today I shall ...
try to realize that some things that irritate me today did not bother me at other times, and I have the option not to be irritated today.