In this week’s Torah portion, כי תבוא, G-d informs the Jewish people of all the punishments they would receive if they do not follow His מצוות. One פסוק discusses the punishment of having constant stress and anxiety. (הָיוּ חַיֶּיךָ תְּלֻאִים לְךָ מִנֶּגֶד וּפָחַדְתָּ לַיְלָה וְיוֹמָם וְלֹא תַאֲמִין בְּחַיֶּיך” (כ׳׳ח:ס׳׳ו” Your life shall hang in doubt before you, and you shall fear day and night, and you will have no assurance of your life. The Talmud then comes to teach us that the פסוק is referring to different types of people.
The first statement, “Your life shall hang in doubt before you,” is discussing a man who does not own any land and buys a enough grain to last a year once a year. He will have grain for this year but he is going to worry about the following year.
The sentence “and you shall fear day and night” is discussing a man who buys a week’s worth of food every week. He is going to constantly stress over how he will be able to get grain for the next week.
The final segment of this פסוק,“and you will have no assurance of your life,” is speaking about a man who buys a day’s supply of bread once a day. This situation is the worst of all because he needs to plan his next food source each and every day. Rabbi Chayim Shmuelevitz derives from this explanation that people create their own source of mental anguish out of their thoughts. If one continually fixates about the future, they will never be at ease with what they have in the moment. In order to have a happy and peaceful life, that person must first appreciate the present before worrying about the future and what it may bring.
By: Noah Dobin (10th grade)