Behalotecha 5780

June 10, 2020

Bite the Apple!

Ron Wayne was one of the three original founders of Apple in 1976, along with 25-year old Steve Wozniak and 21-year-old Jobs. Forty-two at the time, Wayne provided much-needed adult supervision in a company of young creative’s.
Wayne drew the first Apple logo, wrote the three men’s original partnership agreement and wrote the Apple I manual, but his name is virtually unknown.
A few weeks into their partnership, there was a disagreement of future plan, where things were heading and how much money needed to be invested into which projects.
At this stage,a decision needed to be made as to how to proceed.
We will discuss his decision shortly.

Many times in life we are faced with challenges and decisions as to what to do, and how to proceed. How are we sure to make the right decision? Is there a secret path that guarantees success?
Imagine being given a computer programmed with a lifetime manual that could help you make any decision you needed to make in your life at the press of a button.
“Nice,” I hear you say, “but pretty boring!”
If all our decisions could be made so easily, we would have a lack of excitement in our lives.

But how about a different manual? One that does not make the decisions for you, rather it guides you along the right path.
Key decisions would be made by you, but it would be through direction of using and understanding the manual that you would be able to make the right decisions.
Sounds much more exciting!
Everyone has tough decisions to make in life; even Moshe Rabenu was bewildered by certain commandments.

After designating Aharon as the one who lights the Menorah, Hashem told Moshe how to build the Menorah. Rashi notes that the words “This is the form of the Menorah” teach us that Moshe had difficulty in building the Menorah and so Hashem showed Moshe exactly what the Menorah should look like.
Thus the Torah stresses “This” meaning (as if) Hashem pointed out to Moshe with His finger the exact form of the Menorah.
Rabbi Nissan Alpert brings a great analogy to describe what Hashem did. Once, two people were given the materials to build a house. Neither had any experience in carpentry or building. The first one went to a master builder to learn the skills that were required. After he learned everything he needed to know, he built his house. The second one began on-the-job training, meaning he took his own materials and started building, making mistakes along the way, cutting the wood too short or too long and learning the skill by trial and error. By the end, he also became a master builder. The only problem was that he used up all of his building materials in order to learn. Now that he was skilled, he had nothing to build with.
This is the way it is with life. We have a limited amount of years on this earth, and we have a lot of work to do with our years. We just don’t have enough years to learn the right way of life through trial and error. By the time one learns the way of life, it is already time to leave. Therefore, Hashem gave us the Torah, the manual of life. Hashem says, “This” is the way. Don’t use up your years in trial and error. The Menorah, which gives light, represents the light and knowledge of Torah. Moshe was having difficulty envisioning clearly the way to go. Hashem pointed with His “finger,” to show him the way to build the Menorah, the way of life, saying to Moshe, “This is the way to go.”
The Torah is the manual, but the rest is down to us to have the self perception and belief in G-d in order to make the right decisions.
If you tell an 8 year old, “Soon I am sending you to boarding school”
“M-M-M-Me? Live on m-m-m-my own? I could n-n-n-never do it.”
Of course, 4 years later, there he would be, happily packing up to go and live away from home.
Tell the same to your daughter at 17, “In a few years you will be married!”
“Me? Married? I have plenty of time. Maybe some day but not for a long, long time to come.”
5 years later, there she would be under the Chupah!
Self-perception plays a major role in trust and faith in G-d.
Very often, we look at the future through the eyes of the present, and we get nervous.
“Based upon what I have today,” we think to ourselves, “how will I pay the bills next month?
Trust in G-d means that; though I don’t have now what I need for tomorrow, I trust that, just as G-d gave me today what I need for today, He will also give me tomorrow what I will need for tomorrow. I don’t know how, or when, or even why He will, but I believe that it will all come together by the time it has too. Standing where you are today, you could get nervous about tomorrow, but then again, “today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday…” as the saying goes-and you’re still here. You survived, right?

Back to Ron Wayne, and a few weeks after their new partnership in 1976, Ron decided that things were not going his way. He was unhappy at the future spending and plan and therefore relinquished his 10% stock share of the company for just $800.
Had he retained his company shares, they would be worth more than $50 billion today!
There is no way of knowing whether his original decision was correct, or what would have happened had he kept his share and continued, but what’s interesting to note is that the decisions we make can have an everlasting effect and run far into the future.
We have been blessed with the most magnificent world. It’s tough out there, and decisions need to be made.
Be confident, use the manual, make the correct decision and remember you are special and can do it!