Driving with Patience: A Lesson in Temperance

When it comes to my driving, I tend to be a little more patient than my passengers sometimes like. If someone cuts me off, I’m more likely to step on the brake than lean on the horn. I take note of this on the road often, when a car may turn onto a main street, and the driver of the car coming down the road rather quickly reacts by sounding its horn vociferously, to let the idiot know he’s almost caused an accident, instead of stepping on their brakes, which would have greatly reduced the potential for a crash.

The Perils of Impatience on the Road

Indeed, it’s often when we’re in a hurry and we feel someone else in in our way, that we get impatient and choose to express our displeasure for their driving habits. Certainly, there are times when people should not merge into traffic as they did, or if they do, then they need to quickly get up to speed and not hold up everyone else, but in general, I find the drivers of the following vehicles could have been more sensitive.

A Humbling Experience: Learning from a Misjudgment

One day, however, as I was driving on a road where the speed limit isn’t the slowest, I came upon a landscaping truck, completely stopped on the road. His brake lights were on, indicating that he was stepping on them intentionally, but I had no idea why. The road immediately ahead of him was clear, and the cars coming around the bend towards us indicated that there wasn’t some obstacle like a fallen tree beyond the curve.

The Mitzvah of Judging Others Favorably

In life, we don’t always have all the answers. In fact, rarely do we have a full, proper, perspective on what’s going on. That’s why we have a mitzva of judging others favorably, and taking into account all the potential factors that might be at play, and not being quick to condemn them. (This includes judging Hashem favorably, as well.) If someone is impeding us, maybe we’re not supposed to be going in the direction we think. If they say or do something hurtful, we have to realize that Hashem, sans the orange vest, directed them to convey a message to us.

Looking Forward to the Ultimate Horn: The Shofar of Moshiach

As I thought more about it, I realized the only horn we really ought to lean on, is the shofar which will herald the arrival of Moshiach. When that is blown, we will finally see the roadblocks removed, and be dependably certain that we’ve arrived at our intended destination at last.

By Rabbi Jonathan Gewirtz

Rabbi Gewirtz (Operation Inspiration) welcomes comments and feedback. Write to him at info@JewishSpeechWriter.com to share your thoughts. You never know when you may be the lamp that enlightens someone else.

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