The Crossroad

Shmuel Halpern
2 min readMay 28, 2021
Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

Many billions of dollars are spent each year — by organizations and individuals — to unleash human potential. Self-help, psychology, business consultants, yoga, you name it, and someone, somewhere, will swear that it’s the secret to success. And the truth is that they’re all right. There’s no comparing the outputs of the happy and healthy to those of the disgruntled and pain-ridden.

And yet, all the years of brilliant research and the billions of dollars spent haven’t tapped into the true nature of human potential.

We –yes, motivational speakers and writers included — have accepted our limitations as rock-solid and definitive. We are punting instead of hitting because we’ve lost touch with the power of our swing. We’ve forgotten that this finite reality has infinite roots, that the rigid world of action is rooted in the fluid world of speech, which in turn is rooted in the infinite world of thought — and the source of it all is the unfathomable Almighty.

This Shabbos, as the light of the weekly Torah portion descends to our world, we are faced with a choice. We can travel from Sinai to Israel, with firm faith in our hearts and a joyous, hopeful song on our lips. Or, as we reengage the mundane, we can begin to notice the problems and limitations.

In the parsha we learn of how the Jews left Sinai and complained. On the journey to the land of plenty, they complained of lack. We turn the page and find that Miriam saw Moshe for less than he truly was. We turn another page and read about the negativity of the spies. Beginning with one complaint, instead of marching to Israel, we marched to the valley of tears — a land of limitations we ourselves created.

Let’s grab this opportunity. Let’s see more Instead of less, potential instead of limitations. Let’s ensure that we remain forever connected to the source of infinite potential, goodness, and success — our beloved Father in Heaven.