The three cadets were to be interviewed at the Police Academy in Brooklyn, chosen among New York’s finest as potential candidates for the coveted Detective and Investigative Unit.
“Men,” said the Lieutenant, “we’re going to go through a little exercise to test your acumen and insightfulness for detective work. I’m going to show you a picture of a criminal for precisely twenty seconds, and I want you to tell me, simply by glancing at the picture, what type of crook we’re looking for. Jones, take a look. What do you think?”
“Sir! I think this guy has only one ear.”
“No, no, Jones! This is a profile. It only shows one side. What do you say, Burns?”
“Sir! This perpetrator only has one eye.”
“No, Burns. Don’t you understand? This is only a profile. Forget about it!”
About to give up, the Lieutenant showed the picture to the third cadet. “What do you say, Jackson?”
Without looking for more than five seconds, Jackson blurted out with confidence, “Boss! This outlaw wears contact lenses!”
“That’s right, Jackson! You’re incredible! How did you know that?”
“It’s simple, Chief! With one ear and one eye, how in the world is the guy gonna wear glasses?”
It is rare that we are privileged to see “the whole picture” of something. When we do see it, we need to indelibly imprint that image upon our minds and hearts, so that it can resurface and strengthen us anew whenever we are faced with challenges and confusion.
One of those auspicious moments is at Ne’ilah on Yom Kippur. As the holiest day ebbs away, we come face to face with the unmistakable truth that, “Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim—Hashem is G-d!” Seven times we recite those words, each time with more conviction and assuredness.
Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! All the pettiness of the world suddenly seems to us like just that—petty and insignificant.
Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! All the pent-up desires for the pleasures of Olam Hazeh, desires that have occupied our minds and our hearts for more hours than we care to admit, fade into oblivion, and are instead replaced with a yearning to cling to the Ribono Shel Olam.
Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! All the fantasizing about living the “good life” is defused by the realization that the greatest joy is the unraveling of doubts and the clarity of mission, purpose, and destination.
Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! How privileged and thrilled we are to be His servants, knowing as we do, with absolute conviction, that to be His servant is to have gained ourselves freedom.
Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! What an amazing feeling to be able to think on a spiritual level, without any earthly interference!
Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! The majesty of the Ribono Shel Olam is breathtaking; His kingdom is omnipresent. I am in awe of His greatness, which inspires and generates my love for Him.
Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! I see light. I feel pure. I have been privileged to a glimpse of the whole picture, for which I am eternally grateful.
(excerpted from A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen vol. 2. Copyright © 2010 Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland)
In this new collection of forty-five original and inspirational articles, Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland, noted rebbi and magid shiur of Yeshivah Shor Yoshuv, once again explores various topics in hashkafah in a most palatable and appealing way. Tap into the richness and pleasure that this book has to offer, as it evokes within you the ability to laugh, and most importantly, the desire to listen.
Click here to purchase online.