Tzav – Stop Saying No!

Have you noticed how some people seem to be pessimists, negatively inclined and always saying “no, it can’t be done”, or “no, you are wrong”, and “no, I am not capable of succeeding”? Well there is an interesting insight from this week’s Parsha about such people. In this week’s opening section of Parshat Tzav there is an instruction that a continuous fire should burn on the Mishkan altar and that it should never be extinguished. But if we look at the Hebrew of the actual wording, Lo tichbeh, which means “it should never be extinguished”, we can attribute to it a more literal reading, meaning “extinguish the ‘Lo’” i.e. get rid of the negative ‘no’ – “tichbeh the Lo”! To achieve this goal means to work masterfully on changing one’s default negative personality trait by working on one’s fears and low self-esteem. Only though the hard work of what the Rebbe called ‘Shinuy HaTeva’ – ‘changing one’s very nature’, can a negative disposition be eradicated, and supplanted with an optimistic ‘yes, I can do it!’ So search within and see if there is a ‘Lo’ – a negative inclination –to be extinguished. And then deal with it and get rid of it. The worst that might happen if you succeed is that you will win friends and influence people.