So did you hear that Leicester City football club, a club that the bookies gave odds of 5000-1 against them winning the English premier division soccer league, won the English premier division soccer league?
5000-1!!! Those are crazy odds!!! That’s basically like saying “You guys have absolutely no chance at all! It’s just not going to happen!!!”
I actually know someone who knows someone who knows someone in England who put £50 on Leicester City to win the league. He got back 5000 times that £50 which in Rands is equal to more than R5million! Yow!
So Leicester City’s almost miraculous win made me think of one of those stories that Jewish parents have been telling their kids for about 2000 years.
The story (a true story) is of a non Jewish man named Onkelos who lived in Roman times and was the nephew of Adrianus the Roman emperor. Adrianus told Onkelos that if he goes into business he should look for a product that right now no one knows it’s true worth but that eventually its real value will be appreciated.
What did Onkelos do? He converted to Judaism!
When Onkelos’s uncle Adrianus discovered what his nephew had done he was incredulous. “Why did you convert to Judaism?” he asked Onkelos.
“Well uncle” Onkelos answered, “I just followed your advice! Right now not too many people appreciate the Jews or the Torah that they possess, but I can see that what they possess is the truth and infinitely valuable and I know that one day the whole world will recognize this too.”
Well, that’s the story.
So I was thinking, when I heard the news about Leicester City, that there must be so many people in England who wish that they would have appreciated the true worth of Leicester City at the beginning of the league when the bookies considered them to be worthless. And it made me think, isn’t this our story – the story of the Jewish people?
Throughout history we have been treated as if we are inferior, worthless, or even less than worthless… But that’s only because those we have lived amongst haven’t appreciated our true worth and the value and blessing that our heritage brings to the world!
As Jews we need to know that we mustn’t appraise our worth as Jews or the value of our Torah way of living based on the way others regard us, because they are undervaluing us! If we judge ourselves based on what the world we live in thinks of us we will be seriously undervaluing ourselves and our heritage…
The truth is, some might say that this may have happened already though.
So how do we know if our current appraisal of the true worth of our Jewish heritage is accurate?
Well, the only real way we can get a clear idea of the true worth of our heritage is by learning it and seeing it in action.
Here’s a quick example of seeing it in action:
When Tali does something foolish or embarrassing in front of Dina who is careful never to spread embarrassing info about others (because Dina doesn’t say loshen hora), Tali will appreciate a little more the beauty of her heritage.
The more we learn and come into contact with the beauty of our heritage, the more we will appreciate it’s value and how it is worth investing in (even though the people around us may not presently recognise its value).
If we see an aspect of our heritage as valuable and we invest in it by living with it, the pay off from our investment is going to be much more than 5000:1 because it is going to give us something that money can’t buy!
I thought it was a good idea to ask myself the following 3 questions so I could ponder my own appraisal of my heritage to see if I am undervaluing it in any way. Here they are. Feel free to ponder them yourself if you think it will be of worth for you to do so:
- Are there any aspects of my Jewish heritage (Jewish values, mitzvahs) that I think perhaps I am undervaluing in my own life?
- If this is the case are there any ramifications that come from this?
- Are there any solutions?
Please feel free to share any thoughts the comments space below.
Until next time…
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