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Friday, 2 August, 2019 - 8:47 am

20190730_182551.jpgNot everything that we throw out is truly junk, and sometimes from what appears to be waste, can come great potential.

At the Chabad Center of Sudbury, we try and throw most of our peels, and scraps of vegetables into a small area on the side of the property where it can compost and help new things grow. Imagine my surprise when earlier this week, I discovered a large Squash plant with several little Squashes growing on it, that was growing wild near where we have been placing the peels and scraps of vegetables.

Ironically, I had wanted to grow some this year, but did not get around to it, and now we have some and hopefully we will get to enjoy them, along with other stuff that we actually planted and nurtured.

Of course, this left me thinking about the message of this story.

From the scraps and what appears to be no more than waste, came growth and new produce.

How many times in life do we discard opportunities, situations, or even possessions, thinking that they are irrelevant or meaningless, yet so often those might contain the seeds of immense opportunities for growth, achievement and making a difference in a meaningful and good way in the world around us.


A Wasted Journey?


One of the two portions that we read this Saturday, is actually called Maasei, which translates as "Journeys", in which it describes the forty two different encampments that the Jews lived in over the course of their forty year stay in the desert. The commentaries point out, that the portion actually describes the encampments themselves and not the actual journeys, which means that we are calling the stationary camps, "journeys", which seems a little odd on the face of it.

Yet, if we think deeper, there is actually a profound message here, and that is, the growth and journeys of life, are not always expressed in actual journeys and physical movement. Rather each experience that we go through in life, even ones that seems stationary or perhaps moving backwards and regressing, are in truth an opportunity to grow and develop ourselves, and a real part of our life journey that we have been given.

In fact, some of the forty two journeys that are spoken of in this week's portion, were situations, where the Jewish people moved backwards and seemingly in the wrong direction, both physically and morally, yet in the long term view, these were actually part of the growth trajectory of the Jewish people, and all played a critical role in helping them develop and be what G-d wanted them to be.

Our compost pile at Chabad, may have seemed like waste which was just building up good soil, but in truth it contained potential far beyond that. Life is no different, every day and every experience, even those that may not seem so exciting and invigorating, actually contain vast amounts of potential to help us grow both as individuals and collectively.

Good Shabbos & Shabbat Shalom


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