Bahaalotcha 5773 – Don’t be a Whiner

No one likes a whiner.

Even Moses, the most humble man ever known – and surely one of the most patient – couldn’t take too much whining.

Moses, who had the patience to sit on a mountain top for forty days and nights meditating and waiting for the Torah, reached his limit with the endless complaining of the children of Israel in the desert. After two years of their complaints, he was done. Finished. Here’s what Moses told God:

God, why are you doing this to me? What have I done that you stick me with this ungrateful lot?

Am I their father? Their mother? But you want me to carry them, holding them to my breast, to some crazy place you gave to their ancestors? Why me?

And now they want meat. “We want meat, we want meat, give us tasty meat to eat!” Where am I supposed to get meat out here in the middle of desert? Do you see a Safeway somewhere? Besides, there are two million of them! Where am I supposed to find that much meat??

I can’t take it anymore God. I’m done.

If this is how you’re going to treat me, just kill me now, Lord. Get it over with already.

Even Moses couldn’t handle a bunch of whiners. What’s worse, he became something of a whiner himself.

Which reminds me of one of the most useful pieces of business advice I ever received.

Never bring your boss a problem. Don’t be a whiner, complaining about what’s wrong. Any idiot can spot a problem (like no meat). Go to your boss with a solution.

Instead of just saying “here’s a problem, boss,” go to him with the answer in hand already. “Here’s a problem, but if we do x, y, and z, we can fix it.”

Do that and you’ll be a hero, not a zero…

Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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