DVAR TORAH – by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states, “And it will be when all these things come to you, the blessing and the curse which I have given before you, and you shall take it to your heart … and you will return unto the Lord your G-d…” (Deuteronomy 30:1-2). Why does the Torah tell us that “you shall take it to heart?”
Rabbi Yonatan Eybeshetz explains that every life situation has its unique test of our character and can either be utilized for growth or can cause a person to have new faults. When a person has blessing in his life and is financially successful, he can free his mind from things that distract his concentration during prayers and Torah study. Poverty, too, can help a person elevate himself by breaking his arrogance and conceit. This will be beneficial in his relationship with the Almighty and with his fellow man.
On the other hand, wealth can cause a person to commit all kinds of wrongdoings and to remove himself from the Almighty. Poverty can prevent a person from seeking self-improvement. Everything is dependent on how a person utilizes or misuses both the good fortune and the difficulties that the Almighty sends to test him. Therefore, the Torah tells us “you shall take it to your heart.” It is entirely up to you how you will respond to various life-tests.