It was 1944, and there was a terrible hunger in the city of Samarkand. Mordechai was starving when he approached a fellow Jew’s home late one evening. He was hoping someone would be kind enough to give him a piece of bread.
After knocking a few times, he was about to give up and collapse.
Suddenly, Mordechai thought about the shocked owner who would be finding a lifeless human on his doorstep!!
“I can’t cause such anguish to someone!!” the hungry Mordechai thought. He mustered his strength and schlepped himself to the street… where he found a piece of bread!
Mordechai would always repeat this story and say: “Friends my love and respect for another, saved my life!”
In the absence of Happiness, in the face of death – how was Mordechai able to unleash such an awesome expression of love?
Mordechai taught us:
Happiness & Love are not defined by a personal physical quest. Yes, that kind of happiness can and does come to an end.
Happiness is defined by reaching beyond our physical quest and connecting with our energy and purpose.
Seeing ourselves as part of the jigsaw puzzle G-d created and appreciating our unique goal, yet not forgetting about the full picture: that is the source of organic and wholesome happiness!
This kind of happiness sees another human being as part of the same picture. We are not competitors for the same quest. We complement each other.
As the Torah says in this week’s portion, “Love your fellow like yourself”.