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Kobe and Zehirus

Kobe Bryant’s Work Ethic

It is undisputed that Kobe Bryant possesses superior basketball talent to every human being on the planet. That is not enough to be the best basketball player on the planet. There is a discipline aspect that Kobe excells in beyond his inborn talents. Kobe is the first in the gym and the last guy to leave. He puts in more hours in the weight room than anyone else. This article illustrates a third way Kobe excels off the court. Kobe studies film. Kobe studies more film than anyone. This reminds me of Ray Lewis as well. Ray Lewis has all the talent necessary to be the best middle linebacker in the world. Where he gains an even greater edge is film study. Kobe says he learns tendencies and habits of his opponents by studying every move of theirs.

What are these athletes doing studying so much film? They have the talent to succeed on their natural abilities, yet they put so much extra work into their game. Why?

The answer is what we just studied in Messilas Yesharim. In order to succeed in our moral challenges we need to prepare. We need to see our adversary’s (our animalistic urge) tendencies and get to know him. We need to plan ways to avoid challenges and strategize ways of defeating our adversary before the challenge comes to us. It is not enough to be skillful in our moral battles. We need to be prepared as well. This is the secret of the most successful athletes like Kobe and Ray Lewis and it is the secret the Ramchal teaches us in his chapters on Zehirus. The first step to winning the moral war within ourselves is to prepare. It sounds so simple but most of us don;t even think about how we can make those preparations. We continue the explanation of Zehirus this coming Sunday…

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The Year in Review

Is this what happened to you this year?

Did you basically go through the seasons with no change other than the weather. Did it end where it started…

This beautiful video could never be the year in review for a growing person. By the end of the year you should not recognize yourself. Well, maybe you should still be recognizable but nevertheless the growing person cannot be time-lapsed. The action is all on the inside. But can we see it? Does the change have an external effect? Interestingly the Torah teaches us that the inside is reflected on the outside. The word for face in Hebrew is Panim (pey, nun, yud, mem) and the word for inside is P’nim (same letters with different vowels) and this teaches us that the inside is reflected on the outside. Unfortunately most of the time we are so distracted by superficial beauty (let’s call it glitz) that we don’t even get the chance to see real internal beauty visible on the outside. But there are lots of exceptions – you’ll see them on the faces of great Tzadikkim (righteous men and women). This is going to be the topic of our next Connections schedled for this coming Monday Night at 8:00 PM (1/5/09). Beauty – is it really more than skin deep…?

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