Thrown Overboard or Sent by the Lord?

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There is no journey through the world that does not involve struggle. Each life has its share of setbacks and disappointments. The question is: how will we deal with it? Will we be crushed, buried and destroyed by it, or will we elevate and transform it?

Drawing on the fascinating story of Yonah, this speech addresses the feelings that many congregants live with and asserts that it is up to us to decide whether we have been thrown overboard or sent by the L-rd.

We learn how to say: “This is not happening TO me. It’s happening FOR me.” When something happens to me, I’m a helpless victim; when it happens for me, it implies it’s good: a challenge that will lead to growth. “To me” comes with anxiety, blame, and hurt. “For me” comes with hope and purpose.

This vital and inspiring message is enlivened with stories, anecdotes and teachings:

  • What was the tragic secret behind the pilot’s magical landing that saved countless lives?

  • King David’s careful choice of words in his moment of crisis

  • The spark of light that the Holocaust survivor saw in the camps

In difficult times, should we feel anguish? Yes. Tears? Yes. But hopelessness? No! Paralysis? No! In Thrown Overboard, learn how to never be a victim of his circumstances.

The speech concludes with a call to add in mitzvah observance as a means to strengthen our faith as we move through life. And to draw on the memories of our loved ones, whom we remember at Yizkor, to give us the courage to not only survive the difficulties of life, but to elevate and transform them. To realize we have not been thrown overboard -- we’ve been sent by the L-rd.

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