After everything that G-d had done for the Jews - taking them out of Egypt, Splitting the Sea, destroying the Egyptians - miracle upon miracle! And only 3 days after the Jews left the sea shore where these miraculous event occured they arrived at a place called Marah and started shouting and complaining because they had no water.

For this action the Jewish people were criticised in the Torah. Now, what's wrong with complaing that you don't have water?

Especially considering that they were in effect complaing to G-d, who is the Ultimate provider and should (and obviously could) give

them anything!?!! We are shown a hint about why the Jewish people were criticised in the following verse:

"They came to Marah, but could not drink the waters of Marah because they were bitter..." (Exodus 15:23)

If one looks at the verse at the simple level, the Jewish poeple came to this place of water, but couldn't drink becasue the waters were bitter. But the Bal Shem Tov asks us to look at this verse again for a deeper understanding of why the Jewish people were criticised:

"They came to Marah, but could not drink the waters of Marah because THEY were bitter..." ie. THEY refers to the Jewish people. The Jewish people were so bitter about not having water that anything that they encountered became bitter. Here we see a fundamental fault that we are all guilty of. Why were the Jewish people criticised for complaining and being angry to G-d? They were not wrong to ask for water, their fault lay in where their focus was directed. Only a very short amount of time after all the miracles that G-d had performed for them, and they focused purely on the negative!

It occurs so often that we encounter somebody who does something we find inappropriate or rude, and forever more we can only think of him as this rude person regardless of the good deeds he continues to do. Or if we are ever told something negative about a person we are yet to meet, at our first meeting we are naturally negative to this person!

This also applies when we wake up 'in a bad mood'; if we don't do something uncomfortable and drastic to make us happy, anything that happens will be seen only in a negative light.

What's the right way to go about things? Focus only on the positive and that way we will get on with people and be a lot happier in our day. And if bad things do happen (G-d forbid) we must focus on everything that we have going for us - sight, hearing, legs, arms, family, friends, a home, even the ability to go to the toilet! etc. etc.

And if we seriously consider this list and focus on the positive everytime something gets us down, it's pretty hard to stay miserable!














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