Weekly Chasidic Story #1029 (s5777-48) 6 Elul 5777
From the desk of Yerachmiel Tilles: firstname.lastname@example.org
To Fix or Not to Fix?
"Its Elul," I told myself. "It's obvious
the Al-mighty is sending me a message about my overuse of the computer."
Connection: Seasonal - the month of Elul.
To Fix or Not to Fix?
by Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith
I realized it was a careless
thing to do the second I did it. I closed the laptop I use at home while its
plug was lying on the keyboard - not hard, mind you - but that unusual cracking
noise didn't sound good. I turned it on and the screen was totally shattered
inside, displaying digital abstract art. I couldn't believe it broke.
It's Elul, I told
myself. I'm not going to let myself get all upset about this. It's obvious
the Almighty is sending me a message about my overuse of the computer.
I shlepped my home laptop
to work so I could give it to the computer support team who service the Aish
HaTorah offices. Our office manager wasn't encouraging. "Getting a new
screen is very expensive. It might not pay to fix it."
The computer technician
called me right away. "How old is your laptop?"
"Two or three years
old. But it's a perfectly good computer."
"It's not worth fixing.
A new screen is going to cost you between 1500 to 2000 shekels. You can get
a new laptop in the U.S. for that price."
"What! Are you sure
it's going to cost that much? Can I first get a quote and then I'll decide what
"Sure, but the quote
will cost you 300 NIS if you don't fix it."
This is absurd,
I thought to myself.
"Let me think about
it and I'll get back to you."
Then I remembered this
computer technician, a chasidic woman, who once paid a house call and fixed
our computer that got hit with a virus. She was intelligent and affordable.
I called her to see what she could offer.
"It'll cost you 450
NIS. I can come by tonight to pick it up."
I was incredulous (second
time that day). She drove over 9 PM that night in her beat up car and I handed
her the goods.
9 AM the next morning she
called to tell me it's ready. "When can I drop it off?" she asked.
It was too good to be true.
I have a rule that I use, especially when it comes to some of the more fantastical
submissions to Aish.com that come my way, that if it's too good to be true,
it probably is. In this case, though, it was an exception. My laptop was gleaming
with its new screen, it cost less than a quarter of the original quote, I got
it back in one day, delivery included, and I helped support a mother of many
children (they were all packed into the car when she dropped it off) who I'm
sure needed the business more than the professional company who services the
I was relieved that I didn't
listen to the "expert advice" to buy a new laptop, something I momentarily
considered, and just fixed the one I had. Perhaps this is the message I'm supposed
to get during this period of Elul: Just fix it. Don't discard the problem. Don't
avoid dealing with the issue at hand. It's easy to despair when thinking about
all the issues you need to fix in your life as you gear up for Rosh Hashanah.
How can I possibly create a whole new me? Confronting the problem is just too
costly and difficult. It seems impossible to change.
All that negative self-talk
is just a distraction designed to get us to run away from dealing with our real
Don't listen to that voice.
Fix the problem instead. Confront the challenge head on and with some honesty
and a sincere desire to repair it, you'll be surprised to discover one or two
very doable steps that could really make a difference and are not as hard as
you initially thought.
Just fix it.
Source: Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith is the chief editor of www.Aish.com,
one of the world's largest Judaism websites, which emanates from Jerusalem,
where he lives with his wife and children. He is also the author of Shmooze:
A Guide to Thought-Provoking Discussion on Essential Jewish Issues. AND, he
provided me with lots of good advice to help start up www.KabbalaOnline.org
Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor
of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories
to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells
them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.
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is also available for purchase on
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