It is not a secret that Jews have had it a bit hard throughout history, and yet, they have had their heads up and faced adversity with an amazing sense of unity and character that makes you wonder how they can be so positive after all. As we have read in history books, Jewish people are very united and have a strong sense of community which gives them the possibility to overcome almost any adversity.
How do they do it? Why is it that they are always recovering so easy from their problems? Is it the religion? Is it in their genes?
Yosef Meystel took the time to answer this question and made a deep research on this matter to really understand why it is that Jews are so good at overcoming problems. He found the following teachings that come directly from Judaism and that have helped this community face problems and overcome them as they go on.
“Every descent is for the sake of a future ascent”
This approach comes from the Hasidic wisdom. We can translate it into the following saying “god closes a door to open another one” or “after the storm comes the calm”. When Judaism says “descent” they mean a failure or a bad situation that life normally brings to every human being. This event is never an isolated event and it is always part of a learning curve that goes further than what you think.
Part of this teaching is to overcome the fear or at least understand it. For example, it is that fear of failure that does not allow people to take action in a lot of things in life. If people can fool their brain to understand that everything happens for a reason and that a failure is just part of the process, then they can overcome that fear of failing.
And after overcoming that fear and taking a step further, if people understand that when something goes wrong it is just a necessary step towards a future, then people will have the ability to get out of problems or to step out from a difficult situation rather easily.
Hard work is the most important part of success.
The Talmud talks about this teaching. Please don’t think that things come through miracles. You need to make things happen and the only way to do so is by hard work and commitment. Take for example people that win the lottery. Most of them don’t have any money after 4 years simply because they have no idea how to spend it or how to manage it. Judaism teaches that the best way and the only way to succeed is to apply hard work to your ideas or job. Maybe it is a common sense thing, but most people are waiting for their big break in life, that time when they don’t work hard and make “a lot of money” or have tons of success. It is simply not possible, and things that come free are just “Bread of shame”. Judaism teaches that if someone says “I have worked hard, and I have been successful,” that is the person you should believe and admire.
The action is the most important thing says the Ethics of the Fathers
When we travel on an airplane we don’t previously study the plane and aviation so we can get from point A to point B. when we turn on a light we have not read Tesla or any other author that invented light. We don’t even know the basics about electricity but we can turn on that light bulb. The same works for life. Planning is important but the priority should be in taking action. Of course, people cannot do things irresponsibly without finding out what they are doing but they can place more emphasis on taking action rather than planning and planning for long time. Plan and take action as soon as you can, that is what the Ethics Fathers would like you to do.
“The world was created for my sake”. A teaching also found in The Talmud.
Don’t take this in the literal sense of the words. The world was not created for you and for you to do whatever you want. The Talmud is saying that you are accountable for everything that happens in your world. I am totally responsible for my world. People tend to always blame others for their failures and blame themselves for the success they have. That is the easy way out: blame your parents, your boss and even bad luck. When Joseph got together with his brothers who had sold him to slavery and tried to kill him, he never got angry or had feeling of anger, he just understood that everything was his responsibility and that he would choose how to face the situation because it was part of a bigger plan.
Be sure to also check this post on teachings about nature found in Judaism.