| What a Year Can Do |

Not What I Thought

As a new year dawns, what did we learn — and how have we changed?

Last year I thought

I was in control. I thought being in control meant understanding my environment so thoroughly that nothing would be an unknown. I thought that wisdom meant never letting a situation take me by surprise. I thought I could train myself to predict what would happen in any given circumstance and to plan the appropriate response. I thought understanding the minds and hearts of others would enable me to help and affect them. I thought my children drew their strength from me. I thought that loving my talmidim was giving them a hug each and every morning. I thought Hashem only does what is best for me.

This year I learned

that I was never in control. I learned that we don’t understand anything and life is so beautifully unknown. I learned that wisdom is retaining my calm in a surprising situation. I learned that working on knowing what will happen pales in comparison to working on knowing myself. I learned that affectionately connecting to my own heart and mind gave me the key to help and affect others. I learned that my children possess a resilience that is clearly G-d-given. I learned that loving someone doesn’t manifest in a physical action given daily, rather it’s a mindset that never stops giving.

And this year I learned that Hashem only does what is best for me.


Rabbi Yossi Bensoussan serves as mashgiach ruchani at Yeshiva High School of Cleveland. He is a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) who currently maintains a private practice, and does motivational speaking and community education on addiction all over the US and Israel.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 828)

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