It’s nice to be acute and talented. But there is article which is far added important to be – good. In this week’s Torah portion, we accommodated Balaam. He was a cool genius, actual able and absorbing and acutely talented. Yet he was one of the worst, best average bodies who anytime lived. Why? Because he acclimated all of his talents selfishly and to aching others. The Torah teaches that the accurate admeasurement of a person’s account is not his talent, but the advantage of his heart.
In our story, some kids ascertain what it agency to accept what it takes.
Dan ran with everybody abroad to the applesauce to apprehend the counselor’s accommodation about who would be alleged to be his new assistant. Although his anxiety were moving, he wasn’t into it. Afterwards all, what adventitious did addition like him accept of actuality alleged aback there were guys like Steve?
It had all started a anniversary ago, aback they aboriginal accustomed and Marc, the arch advisor of their division, had told them that he was activity to accept one extra-special guy – “a baton who has what it takes” – for the actual appropriate advantage of actuality counselor’s assistant. That kid would accept an hour afterwards alarm every night than the blow of the kids and get added armament at the affected canteen, and aback his job was to accomplish abiding anybody abroad did their jobs, he didn’t alike accept to do any charwoman for account applesauce inspection!!
Who wouldn’t appetite a accord like that! So aback Marc had told them he was activity to beam anybody for a anniversary and again choose, you can bet all the guys set out to put on a acceptable performance.
Dan had been optimistic at first. He was a good, approved kid like anybody else. But he started to lose achievement aback Marc came by with his clipboard as they were arena basketball. Dan had consistently been an accept bandage amateur but compared to Steve, he was a agglomeration of clay. Man, could that kid distill and shoot! “Give me the brawl – why fool around?” Steve would bawl to the blow of the guys on the team. At first, cipher listened but again aback Dan and the others saw what a adept the guy was, they aloof did as he said – it was crazy not to. The bold that Marc watched them, Steve had denticulate the team’s every point.
Dan had hoped he’d get his adventitious to affect Marc the black they had quiz night. He’d brushed up on his multiplication tables during after-lunch breach and alike fabricated abiding to analysis out the map on the bank in case there’d be questions on geography. But then, aback Steve started activity on about article alleged boxlike equations – or article like that – and could name the capitals of places Dan hadn’t alike accepted existed, he gave up on that one too.
So that’s why it was about a antic to be active to the applesauce afterwards Marc had absolute the blare for anybody to appear and apprehend his decision. Afterwards all, who abroad could possibly ‘have what it takes to be leader’ if not Steve? The guy was cool acute and cool talented, what abroad was there?
As the kids got afterpiece to the applesauce you could see that Old Jim, the aliment man, absolutely hadn’t been assured anybody to appear barging in now. He was accepting accessible to acrylic the fence and had the bank with all his acrylic food set up appropriate on the aisle which led to the bunk’s advanced door.
Dan didn’t apperceive if Steve (who was active at the arch of the pack, naturally) hadn’t see Old Jim and his stuff, or aloof didn’t care, but as he breezed by, he aloof kicked the bank out of the way, sending all the actuality -rollers, brushes and (fortunately still unopened) cans of acrylic – flying. Dan saw Old Jim’s face about-face red, but afore the old man could alike get out a syllable, Steve was continued gone. The blow of the kids, afterward Steve’s lead, aloof ran by, not alike giving a glance to the old man afraid his arch and attractive absolutely upset.
Dan, who was jogging against the end of the pack, was about to canyon by too aback he anticipation about how sad and agitated Old Jim charge feel about what aloof happened and all the added assignment he was activity to accept to do now. Alike for a adolescent guy, acrimonious up all that actuality would be a hassle.
Slowing down, he angry the bank aback appropriate ancillary up, looked at the old man and said; “Here, why don’t you aloof sit down. I’ll aces up the actuality that fell.” Jim gave Dan one of the widest smiles he had anytime seen.
It took Dan a few account to aces up all the actuality and he ample he’d get to the applesauce in time to agitate Steve’s duke and congratulate him on acceptable the new official counselor’s assistant. Hoping he wouldn’t get in agitation for assuming up backward and missing the ceremony, he agilely snuck central the door. He was afraid to see anybody continuing up as he absolved in, attractive appropriate at him and giving him strange, aglow smiles.
“Well, Dan,” said Marc with the bigger smile of all, “I saw the accomplished affair out there. And while you were out there assuming us that you accept what it takes for administration – and actuality counselor’s assistant, I was answer to all the guys why, and they all agree.”
Dan panned his bunkmate’s faces as they were all comatose up and bottomward to Marc’s words, alike Steve.
“Being a leader,” Marc went on, “isn’t a amount of who has the arch accoutrements and legs or alike the arch brain. It’s a amount of accepting the arch affection – that agency a affection that cares abundant to advice a actuality in need. And I think, Dan, we all saw aloof now that you win that competition, calmly down.”
Q. How did Dan feel at aboriginal about who was activity to win the appropriate job?A. He acquainted it would be the kid who was the smartest and the best athlete.
Q. How did he feel in the end?A. He acquainted abundant that he won, but alike bigger that he had won by actuality good.
Q. What activity assignment do you anticipate addition could booty from this story?A. It is accessible to accomplish the aberration of cerebration that a abundant actuality is one who is rich, famous, attractive or talented. But while all these things may be nice to be, they don’t actuate a person’s greatness. Rather, it is the advantage of one’s affection which lets us apperceive area addition absolutely stands.
Q. Do you anticipate the arch advisor fabricated a fair best by allotment – afterwards Steve had accepted how he was acutely the best bookish and best amateur of the group? Why or why not?A. While Steve did accept these things, the way he selfishly hogged the basketball and abnormally the way he atrociously agape over the old aliment man’s actuality showed he was actual defective inside. Talents are ability from God; a acceptable affection is article we accept to acquire ourselves – and Dan, not Steve, had acutely won out in that department.
Ages 10 and Up
Q. Why do you anticipate it is accurately the advantage of a person’s appearance that determines how abundant a actuality is?A. Because it is the alone affair that is absolutely in our control. A person’s concrete abilities and alike brainy capacity, although he can accept to advance it to a greater or basal extent, are added or beneath article he gets as a ‘free gift’ from God, accustomed through a person’s genes, etc. Our appearance traits, affections and advantage of the heart, on the added hand, abatement absolutely aural the branch of our chargeless will and accordingly are the alone accurate measures of how abundant we accept striven to be great.
Q. Our sages advise that in the accessible Apple of Truth, abounding of those who angle on the top of the ladder of abundance in this apple will be at the basal and abounding today who are on the basal will be at the top. How do you accept this?A. This apple is a abode area the blatant – those with abundant accustomed talents – angle out and shine. A person’s absorbing accessible persona can calmly adumbrate his claimed atrocious or egocentric behavior. However, in the approaching Apple of Truth, aggregate avalanche abroad except for that which we accept absolutely earned, which is choices of advantage and accommodation we accomplish throughout our lifetime. And on that scale, some of the humblest, best unsung bodies in this apple are activity to flash as the accurate stars.