In the first section of this week’s Parsha, Tzav, the Kohen is instructed that the western candle of the candelabrum should always burn and not extinguish. The Hebrew of ‘not extinguish’ is Lo Tichbeh.
A deeper retranslation of Lo Tichbeh, could be, “extinguish the Lo” – get rid of the ‘no’, the negativity. Meaning, negative dispositions, doomsday prophecies, sourpuss faces all create a climate that infects society and the world at large. We have recently witnessed this with negative and panic-stricken responses to the corona virus that had a mere 3% higher mortality rate that than the common flu, 97% chance that it will go for you the way of the ordinary flu should you contact the virus. Yet panic drove people into the ‘lo’ – negative thinking.
To be able to maintain a healthy and positive attitude to life requires faith and commitment in the face of adversity. Ask yourself: how do you respond to adversity? Do you crumble? Do you panic? Do you shift into catastrophic thinking?
This is exactly what this re-reading of this Torah phrase is instructing us. Get rid of the ‘Lo’ – the defeatist negative default response to any challenge facing you.. There is a 50 percentile probability that things will work out, and 50% they won’t. Evenly weighted, so why go the route of the negative when it is equally realistic to opt for the positive.
Your state of mind determines outcomes. Stay positive.