I attended the first NFL game of my life this week. My wife surprised me with a birthday present; tickets to the Philadelphia Eagles Monday Night Football game with my father. The Eagles have always been my favorite team, but I had never seen them play in person. The experience shocked me. I found myself embracing strangers after touchdowns, commiserating in sorrow after penalties, and singing Fly Eagles Fly in unison with 70,000 of my closest friends.
As we exited the stadium and waited in an hour of traffic, my father looked at me and asked, “Would you do that again?” I responded, “Why hadn’t we done this before?” Our Rabbis teach us mshaneh makom mshaneh mazal, when we change our location, we change our good fortune. We must leave our comfort zone to appreciate what we already have been given and to strive for what we desire.
As God commands Avram to depart his father’s house, the Midrash tells us what God told Avram. “You have attained so high a level Avram! If you will remain in one place, how will your fame spread? Wander about and then the fragrance of your personality will attract people from far and near to serve Me! If you change your place, I will transform you into a great nation!”
Avram started to explore the world, and we are grateful for his decision. Who will ever know how the decisions we make today will be a blessing for those who come after us? Leonard Fein, the great social scientist, wrote, “When you skip a rock across the pond, you never know where the last ripple will end up.”
What we do know…is that you must toss the rock to begin….