The Grass is Greenest on Your Side
Essays 2020 / Finalists / Winning Essays
The saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” And true to this, there are often times we wish we could be in someone else’s shoes. Whether it be a quality, talent, certain life situation or aspect of life which you wish you could have, there always seems to be something you lack and the other person has.
Imagine: You got into an argument with your spouse, your children’s’ report cards came back with the opposite of positive results, and on top of it, the house is looking like a wreck. You’re feeling like a deflated balloon. Then you’re at Mr. Full-Bank-Account’s house for a Shabbos meal and everything seems hunky-dory. Their house is gorgeous, the husband and wife get along like a dream and the children give over beautiful Divrei Torah. “My house is not half as nice, not to mention my spouse and I can’t seem to get along very well these days. And I wish my kids were as well-behaved and smart as those kids.”
Or imagine another scenario: you are a quiet, sensitive girl/boy working in a summer camp as a counselor, wishing to be as charismatic and fun as your friend, of whom all the kids think the world of! If only you could be as fun and cool. The campers would surely like you much more.
Or imagine: you are close to 30 years old and still unmarried, while your camper from several years ago, who is 8 years younger than you, just got engaged. You feel it is unfair that it seems to have happened so easily for him/her. After all, you’ve dated so much, worked on yourself, and done just about every Segula there is.
These are some examples of situations that can cause one to ask: “why does he/she have X and I don’t?”
Dennis Prager, author and radio talk show host, came up with a name for this (mistaken) way of looking at life: the Missing Tile Syndrome. If a ceiling is missing a tile, you would tend to notice the one missing tile the most (more than all the other tiles that are in place). In the case of a ceiling, noticing the missing tile is beneficial, because this allows for the ceiling to be fixed and once again be perfect. But not so in life. A ceiling can be perfect, but life cannot and will not be perfect (until the coming of Moshiach, may it be speedily in our days). Your missing tiles – the things you lack and yearn to have, whether it be looks, money, social status, or character traits – cannot be provided as easily as a tile in a ceiling. In fact, some things you may never have.
Spending a disproportionate amount of time preoccupied with what others have causes unhealthy thoughts and desires. This leads to feelings of jealousy and unhappiness. You can get so sucked into what the other person does has and you don’t have, that you forget to look at what you do have and what you can therefore accomplish. You thereby lose the ability to live your own life to the fullest.
But is there some way that you can come to view your own “grass” as green as – or even greener than! – the “grass” on the “other side”?
The good news is that there is, though it will probably entail some serious inner work. The goal of this essay is to gain a perspective, as well as practical tips, to help you focus less on what you lack, more on what you have – your gifts – and to thereby become more focused in accomplishing the mission for which you came to this world for. Based on Chapter 27 of Tanya and other sources in Chassidus, the following questions will be answered:
- What causes me to focus so much on what others have?
- Why am I destined to not have the same lot as others?
- Why is it harmful to act like or wish I could be someone else?
- How can I stop wishing to have what others have?
- How can I be truly happy with my lot?
To get to our desired perspective shifts, we will break this process into three steps.
Ideal Perspective #1A: You are here to serve a purpose rather than to be served.
Ideal Perspective #1B: G-d is the only One you need to impress.
Let’s understand the root cause of our jealous desires. Take a step back and ask yourself: “Why do I feel so unsatisfied with what I have and jealous of what others have?” The answer to this question falls into one or both of the following categories:
Cause 1: You wish to enjoy life and not have to work so hard.
It is said, “And a wild donkey a man will be born.” By nature, people are animalistic and desire pleasure. In Tanya, this basic truth is made clear, as it says, “…Every Jew, whether righteous or wicked, possesses two souls… one soul originates in the Kelipah and Sitra Achra… From [this soul] stems all the evil characteristics, deriving from the four evil elements within it… the appetite for pleasures [emanates] from the element of Water, for water promotes the growth of all kinds of pleasure-giving things…” The Animal Soul is naturally inclined towards personal enjoyment and pleasure. It just wants to take it easy.
In our discussion: you imagine to yourself that if only you had whatever the other person has, your life would be less difficult and more pleasurable. (It is another discussion altogether whether or not it is true that the other person’s life is easier…) Going back to Mr. Full-Bank-Account: you feel jealous of him because he seems to have a better life than you have. After all, he doesn’t seem to have a problem paying the bills, as he goes on regular vacations, has a gorgeous car, and a stunning house and garden.
Another reason for these desirous thoughts:
Cause 2: You wish to attain greater social, spiritual, or financial status in the eyes of other people.
The Rebbe Rashab, fifth Chabad Rebbe, explains that exercising the Animal Soul and its desires, causes a great weakness to the G-dly soul and dims its light. This is the case with desires of eating and drinking, but even worse than that is the desire to be “Mechubad B’einei Habrios” – honored in the eyes of other people. Your Animal Soul wants to be liked by others; he wants to impress others.
To further illustrate: it says in Tanya that Reb Yochanan ben Zakai blessed his students that their fear of G-d should be as great as their fear of other people. His students asked: “Shouldn’t our fear of G-d be greater than our fear of people?” He answered, “…When a person sins, he says [to himself]: ‘May no one see me!’” In other words: by nature, a person’s behavior is affected by the presence of other people. Knowing that someone else is watching you, you will act differently than when in the presence of no one. From Reb Yochanan’s wise words, it is evident that part of the human condition is that we care what others think of us, want others to think well of us, and even change our behavior to ensure that others’ high opinions of us remain intact
To apply this to our discussion: you imagine that by attaining that thing you now lack, you will thereby gain greater status – whether it be social, spiritual, or financial – in the eyes of those around you. Going back to the counselor example: you feel jealous of your friend who is more charismatic and socially savvy than you. You imagine that if you also had those qualities, others would like and pay you more attention. In other words: your desire to be like your friend is motivated by your concern about the way people view you.
To address cause #1 (wanting to have life easy): Ingrain the idea in your mind, heart, and soul, that the main point of why you are here is not just to enjoy yourself (of course the idea is not either to be miserable, G-d forbid; to the contrary, it is stated, “Serve the L-rd with joy.”). You are here to accomplish a mission, as it says, “I was created to serve my Master.”
Furthermore, this topic is extensively spoken of in many places in Chassidus, as it is a very foundational concept in Chassidus. The Alter Rebbe explains that the purpose of the soul’s descent to the world is to purify his/her body, Animal Soul, and the physical world, through the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos; and the ultimate purpose of all of this is to cause the supreme and complete revelation of G-dliness in this physical world – i.e. to have the Geula. Though it is easier to get swept away with the desires of the body and Animal Soul, maintaining the focus of why you are here is paramount.
To this end, the Previous Rebbe writes strong words. In a greater discussion about the need to transform “Shtus D’klipa” – the irrational foolishness of evil – into “Shtus D’kedusha” – irrational holiness, the Previous Rebbe articulates that in our personal lives, this means transforming our stubborn, irrational ways in the world to being equally stubborn and irrational about holy matters. For example, instead of treating the times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like unbendable laws, make your times for learning Torah as absolute; learn Torah every day at x-time no matter what. The Previous Rebbe asks, how is it possible to be so wrapped up in matters that entirely lack substance, while the main thing – the reason for which your soul came down here for! – is completely forgotten?! He explains: it is the spirit of “Shtus” – foolishness – which covers over the truth. For this reason it is your job to transform this foolishness into that of holiness.
The point most relevant to our discussion is that though you may be distracted by matters of lesser importance – such as how much money your neighbor has, or that your friend seems to be more likable than you – it is crucial to remain focused on why you are here. Your soul came down here to reveal more of G-d. It did not come down here to take it easy.
Practical tip: As per the Previous Rebbe’s words, make a fixed time to work towards accomplishing the mission for which you are here for, whether it be a fixed Chavrusa to learn some Torah or a fixed time to visit sick children in the hospital. Nourish your G-dly soul a little bit.
To address cause #2 (desiring to impress others): The only One Whose opinion of you matters is G-d. People come and go; only G-d remains forever. Furthermore: after 120 and the soul goes up to Heaven, it will be held accountable by G-d for every action, word, thought, etc., as it says, “…Those who are born are destined to die… [Therefore, let man]… become aware that He is G-d, He is the fashioner, He is the Creator… He is the judge… He will hereafter sit in judgment…and against your will, you are destined to give an account before the supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.” To reference back to the above story of Reb Yochanan and his words about the fear of Heaven: it is certainly easy to feel compelled to act differently based on how other people look at you; much easier than when by yourself locked in a room only in the presence of G-d. After all, in this physical world, people are much more tangible than G-d. It can seem unreachable to attain this “Yiras Shamayim,” or “Awe of Heaven.” However, in Tanya Chapter 41, it explains: through some meditation on G-d’s presence in all worlds, this world specifically, and even more specifically, that microcosmic world called you, it is possible to feel enough motivation to stop you from transgressing His will.
Practical tip: In a letter to one asking how to increase concentration during prayers, the Rebbe advises memorizing the beginning of Chapter 41 of Tanya – the content of which is mentioned above – and then reciting or reviewing the content each morning before prayers, to implant the awareness that G-d is watching over you each moment and awaiting your service. Though here we speak not specifically of prayers, this advice can certainly go a long way in everyday life, not only during prayer. Meditate every day – even for just 30 seconds – on how G-d, Who is Master over EVERYTHING, is interested in you and your actions. In fact, the whole world is dependent on your every action! How’s that for some empowerment? Meditating on this will not make your jealousy go away overnight, but over time it will eventually focus you and get you headed in the right direction.
Though these root causes are not directly related to the issue of jealous thoughts and are only underlying, addressing the root causes can nevertheless go a long way towards dissolving the issue.
Ideal Perspective #2A: Every life situation has its pros and cons; there is no such thing as objectively the “best” or “worst” station in life.
Ideal Perspective #2B: Your particular life situation allows you special opportunity.
Now that we have established that the only One to Whom you are accountable is G-d and that in the greater scheme of life you are here to serve Him, we can take the next step: G-d gave you exactly what you need to carry out your mission! When looking at the greater picture of accomplishing your mission, there is no such thing as one quality/talent/life situation that is objectively the best, nor one that is objectively the worst.
For example, one who is outgoing, fun-loving, and charismatic is better suited to be the head counselor of a summer camp than someone more serious, reserved, and organized. On the other hand, someone who has these latter qualities is better-suited to be the director behind the scenes than one with the former characteristics. So neither is objectively “the best.” They are equally important. Some people are meant to be the outgoing, fun people who run camps with lots of Chayus. Others are meant to be the more introspective, thoughtful ones who plan the whole camp behind the scenes. One set of life “ingredients” were given to you, while another, different set of “ingredients” were given to someone else.
The importance of all types of people is a central concept, brought out in many places in Chassidus. The Previous Rebbe explains that when the Jewish people were taken out of Egypt, they are referred to in the Torah as “Tzivos Hashem.” There is more depth to the term than meets the eye. The word “Tzivos” is etymologically connected to three words, one of which is “Tzivyon,” which means beauty. What beauty? He explains: just as true beauty is composed of many shades and colors, so too the utmost beauty of the Jewish people is their diversity. Some are of great intellect and can master the Torah and secrets of the Torah, and then some are simple people who are masters of good deeds, fulfilling the Torah and Mitzvos out of pure earnestness. Specifically having different types is what creates our beauty as a people.
Another source for this idea: Parshas Nitzavim begins, “You are all standing this day before the L-rd, your G-d the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp both your woodcutters and your water drawers.” Based on these verses, the Alter Rebbe discusses the unity of all Jewish souls on Rosh Hashana. He explains that the various levels enumerated in the verses, “leaders of your tribes, your elders…etc.” allude to ten different levels of souls. Just as every person’s personality is composed of ten different powers that reflect the ten Sefiros, so, too, the Jewish people are a collective whole, sub-divided into ten levels that correspond to these ten Sefiros. All of the Jewish people are “Koma Achas Shleima,” or “comprised of one full body.” Just as every part of the body is necessary, so too is every level and type of Jew necessary.
Though this is all true, one could still claim: “Fine, I’m needed. But what’s the advantage of being a ‘water drawer’ – or in contemporary terms: the garbage collector? And why is it fair that I was relegated to this lowly status?” In a specific situation, you may not be actually doing something as extreme as collecting garbage, but in the role you play, you view yourself in as lowly a light as others may view a garbage collector (though this would certainly be of an attitude contrary to the spirit of Torah…).
To answer this question, let’s explore what advice the Alter Rebbe gives to the Beinoni dealing with depression over having negative, sinful thoughts. Instead of feeling depressed about it, the Alter Rebbe tells him he should feel joy about having the opportunity to fulfill the dictate, “You shall not follow after your heart and after your eyes, by which you go astray.” Since the negative thoughts are popping up in his head, therefore he has the opportunity to “not follow his heart” and push the thoughts away; unlike the Tzadik to whom such thoughts would not even occur. Instead of viewing it as a cause for sadness, he should view it as an opportunity to fulfill a Mitzvah! Were he a Tzadik, he would not be able to fulfill this Mitzvah!
To apply this to our discussion: You wish you could be the Tzadik – i.e. you wish you could be like another person who appears to have a better life in some aspect, you wish you did not have to be the “garbage collector,” doing difficult and sometimes distasteful work. But the Alter Rebbe says: to the contrary, appreciate the unique opportunity in your situation. You are placed in a situation that allows you to take action in a way that someone not in your situation would be unable to do. While it may be more enjoyable to have a prestigious job, as it brings you more honor and respect, there is something just as important in a low-class job. For example, the mayor of a city is very highly respected and is given more Kavod (respect), but how long could the city go without its garbage collectors? It wouldn’t be long before the streets would cease to look beautiful and start to smell. Each of us has a special task. Even though someone else’s job might seem more likable or better, yours is just as necessary; and just as beautiful.
The Alter Rebbe continues in the chapter, “On the contrary, such sadness is due to conceit. For he does not know his place, and that is why he is distressed because he has not attained the level of a Tzaddik, to whom such foolish thoughts surely do not occur. For were he to recognize his station, that he is very far from the rank of Tzaddik, and would that he be a Beinoni and not a Rasha for even a single moment throughout his life (i.e., this is what he should be striving for at present, rather than vainly desiring to be a Tzaddik), then surely, this is the due measure of the Beinonim and their task: To subdue the evil impulse and the thought that rises from the heart to the mind, and to completely avert his mind from it, repulsing it as it were with both hands, as explained above. With every repulsion of this thought from his mind, the Sitra Achra is suppressed here below in This World…”
Instead of wishing to be a Tzadik, the Beinoni has to accept reality: “I am a Beinoni, not a Tzadik, and that is okay.” G-d created the Beinoni to be a Beinoni! That is his mission in life! G-d wants his overcoming struggle and his Iskaffia. He’s not asking for him to do Is’hapcha! To apply this to our discussion: the reason why you feel so depressed is because you are caught up in the illusion that you are someone who you are not.
Dennis Prager came up with another way to frame this idea, which is parallel to this concept in Tanya. He calls it the “Happiness Equation.” U = I – R. Unhappiness = Image minus Reality. In answer to the question of what blocks people from happiness if they so badly want to be happy, Prager says: the answer is image. Their image of how they imagine things should be versus the reality of how things are, creates unhappiness. The lesson: lovingly accept the reality of how things are.
You are vainly trying to be someone else, but it isn’t working because that simply isn’t reality. You are you and Mr. So-and-so is Mr. So-and-so. For example, suppose you are the quiet, sensitive counselor. Not just in camp, but also whenever you go to L’chaims, you sit on the side of the room not knowing how to even start a small talk conversation with anyone. You sit in agony with one thought and one thought only, “Why am I not a more outgoing person? What’s wrong with me?” The Alter Rebbe tell you: embrace the reality. “I am an introverted, sensitive, and also kind-hearted person. I am not a loud, outgoing, and attention-getting person, and that is okay.” Now maybe it isn’t your time to shine, and that is okay. You will have your time; as it says, “…There is no man who does not have his hour.” Maybe one time there will be someone going through a tremendously painful situation and no one will know what to say to them or how to respond, and you’ll be that one who sensitively knows just what to say.
G-d is not asking you to be the Macher who is loud and outgoing. He is asking you to use your ability to be sensitive and kind. (To clarify: there is definitely a place for endeavoring to move out of your comfort zone – e.g. making an effort to talk more with people you don’t know all that well. In fact, working on yourself is a must and will help you grow unmeasurably. But the point here: not to bemoan the things in your life you cannot change; accept that if you have been given a specific set of circumstances in life, perhaps this means you are not cut out to be what you may have wished.) You could have the mistaken impression that being a Tzadik is the most glorified, the “best,” and a Beinoni is a second-class citizen. In our discussion: you could think that being outgoing and charismatic is the most glorified, the “best” – and being quiet and sensitive is second-class. Not so, says Chapter 27 in Tanya. Both have their place. Both are crucial.
In fact, even further: the Alter Rebbe continues in the chapter: “…and, since ‘the arousal from below (in our case, the initiative of the Beinoni in suppressing the Sitra Achra) produces a corresponding arousal above,’ the Sitra Achra above in the supernal worlds which soars like an eagle, is also suppressed… Indeed the Zohar, in Parshas Terumah (p. 128), extolls the Divine satisfaction that occurs when the Sitra Achra is subdued here below, for ‘thereby G‑d’s glory rises above all, more than by any other praise, and this ascent is greater than all else, etc.’ Therefore one should not feel depressed or very troubled at heart even if he be engaged all his days in this conflict, for perhaps this is what he was created for, and this is the service demanded of him — to subdue the Sitra Achra constantly.”
In other words: not only are the Tzadik and Beinoni both necessary but actually, there is something extra special about the Beinoni. His battling and overcoming struggle gives an incredible amount of pleasure to G-d. Even if his job feels more difficult, he at least gets to know that he is accomplishing something so utterly precious.
To apply this to our discussion: even if you perceive your life as harder than someone else’s, know that there is something special about your situation. Going back to our unmarried 30-year old: suppose you are in this situation, and your friend is already married with several children – which granted, is for sure a challenge. First, know that overcoming this struggle gives G-d tremendous pleasure, and second, that this struggle is perhaps the reason for your creation! Don’t fall down on the job and give in to your hurt about why you are still unmarried, unlike your friend. Take advantage of the pros of your situation and tackle the struggle head-on. Use what you do have, to your advantage. In this case, maybe it means using the free time you may have to innovate an amazing program in the local school; or maybe it means taking the opportunity to work on your character. Come to terms with the fact that if you find yourself in a particular situation, this means you were created for this very purpose: to overcome the struggle this situation entails! All of creation has been waiting for this moment when you will overcome this challenge!
Keep in mind: Nothing is perfect or completely challenge-free. Every life situation has a pro and a con. As it says, “G-d has made one corresponding to the other.” For example, those who are married have thankfully found their soulmate and can (hopefully) enjoy a deep, meaningful relationship with their other half. But this amazing blessing also comes with the responsibility of being there for others in an unprecedented way: being present for and supporting the spouse and children in every way. Though it is a lofty ideal, at times it can be utterly difficult and stressful. On the other hand, someone who is single has the freedom of being responsible for only themselves and has the flexibility to enjoy certain aspects of life much more. But on the “down” side, a single person is lacking their other half – and the enriching relationship that comes along with it, not to mention that they are also not (yet) able to fulfill the huge Mitzvah of bringing more Neshamos into the world.
In your eyes, it may appear that your friend struggles less than you do, which seems unfair. But the truth is: whether or not your perception is true (likely it is not – every person has struggles of some sort, even if they are not perceptible from the outside), you have been created as you are with the struggles that you have. You are perfect as you are. Your life is perfect as it is. (This is referring to the aspects of you and your life that you cannot change. The things in your life you can change for the better you are obligated to try to change.) Accept that. And realize that to use your qualities, talents, and life situation are precisely what you have been created for. It’s a cause for joy. You have the opportunity to overcome this specific challenge! No one else does. Or at least not in quite the same way. If you are having a struggle in a certain area in life, it is not incidental or accidental. It means G-d has given you this specific mission to work on. Wishing you were someone else who doesn’t have this specific challenge is not going to change the reality. The more you can realize that the challenge is what you have been created for at this very moment (after all, G-d renews and re-creates all of creation every moment) the more you will be equipped to deal with the challenge, starting with having the proper perspective on the situation.
Practical tip: Make it a practice every day to write down the blessings in your life – what you are grateful for. This will move you into a mindset of appreciating the “tiles” you do have and will enable you to focus on what you can contribute to the world; how you can best use your time here on earth.
Ideal Perspective #3A: Things would be very wrong if you tried to mimic and live someone else’s life.
Ideal Perspective #3B: G-d sends you the perfect set of circumstances to ultimately bring you the greatest success
People like to enjoy the illusion that if they had what so-and-so had, everything would be dandy. Not so. The reason why you have been given certain qualities and talents and put into certain life situations is so you can accomplish something specific. If you don’t accomplish that specific thing, you are missing the point. It says in Hayom Yom, “Every individual is required to serve G-d according to his nature and spiritual level. A person who can pierce pearls or polish gems, yet occupies himself with baking bread, is considered to have sinned, even though this too is a much-needed task. The parallels to this in our Divine service are obvious.”
The story of Reb Zushe of Anipoli is well-known: before he passed away he explained to his students why he was afraid. “In Heaven they will not ask me if I was Moshe. After all, G-d has a Moshe. I’m afraid they will ask, ‘Zushe, why weren’t you Zushe?’” In other words: You can only be yourself. You cannot be anyone else. And while you yet have time in this world, you want to maximize that time, and use out your potential to the fullest.
The Previous Rebbe tells a story with the same message: Once a wagon driver took a Gevir (wealthy man) to the bathhouse to get ready for Shabbos. On his way to Shul, the Gevir, beautifully dressed, saw a wagon stuck in the mud. He ran to help, but being totally inexperienced with such menial tasks, he got very dirty. He finally arrived in Shul in this state. Meanwhile, the wagon driver, already in Shul early, was approached by several guests looking for a place to eat. He of course agreed to have them. Later that night when asked if they had a place to eat, the guests said they did, though as it turned out the wagon driver didn’t have much to offer them to eat. After 120 and both the wagon driver and Gevir came before the Heavenly Court, it was ruled that both would need to go back down to the world to fulfill the respective jobs that were truly intended for each of them.
Another beautiful story illustrating this point is told by Rabbi Ezra Schochet. As a teenager, he wrote to the Rebbe, lamenting that he would never amount to anything since he wasn’t as learned or great as certain Gedolim. The Rebbe’s response changed his life. In essence, the Rebbe told him that the purpose of every person is not to try to be greater than someone else, but to serve G-d, and fulfill the mission for which he was put here.
One last point: Sometimes great successes in life come from unexpected places. Though you may have imagined that your idea of success would come through a certain avenue (perhaps why you wish your circumstances would be different), G-d has a way of sending you the potential for even greater success in different packaging than you may have expected.
An illustration of this idea: the well-known Chassid Reb Reuven Dunin was originally a zionistic tractorist in Israel. After discovering Chabad and his thirst for Torah and Chassidus, he traveled to the Rebbe and was shocked to be told that he should continue his tractor-driving. As a tractorist wearing Chassidic garb, he certainly defied all stereotypes; but through this particular non-conventional work, he was able to bring many more people close to Torah. Perhaps this would not have been the case had he been in a more conventional setting. Sometimes G-d thinks out of the box, so to speak. Be open to the possibilities. You might not see it yet, but your “grass” is certainly the “greenest.”
To summarize all of the above:
- Acknowledge that jealous, wishful thoughts come from a) the Animal Soul, who wishes to take it easy, and/or b) the desire to appear impressive in the eyes of others.
- The antidote: a) fight the foolish Animal Soul by actively prioritizing Torah & Mitzvos over insubstantial matters and b) cultivate a greater awareness of G-d in your day-to-day life, remembering that only G-d’s opinion of you matters.
- Acknowledge that there is no such thing as being in the best or worst life situation. Every quality/talent/life situation has its pros and cons, and is equally necessary. All of the Jewish people are like one body and each of us is likened to the different body parts. Accordingly, every person with their particular mission – including you! – is necessary.
- Even though it can seem unfair that someone else seems to have a better situation than you (which is not necessarily true), acknowledge that to the contrary: your specific station in life provides you with the unique opportunity to accomplish something only you can do. And overcoming the struggle involved gives G-d sublime pleasure.
- To practically attain this perspective: make a point to write down what you are grateful for. Shine the limelight on what you do have!
- It would be harmful to try to be someone else as you were sent here for a specific mission only you can do!
- G-d has put you in your particular circumstances to perhaps allow you even greater successes than had you been in any other circumstances!
 Job 11:12
 Tanya Chapter 1
 Hemshech Ayin Beis Parshas Vayechi, p. 805
 Tanya Chapter 41
 Psalms 100:2
 Talmud Kiddushin 82b
 Tanya Chapter 37
 Basi Legani 5710, Chapter 5
 Mishna, Avot 4:22
 Igros Kodesh Vol. 17, p. 111
 As the Rambam says in Hilchos Teshuva 3:4
 Basi Legani 5710, Chapter 10
 Deuteronomy 29:9-10
 Likutei Torah Parshas Nitzavim
 Tanya Chapter 27
 Numbers 15:39
 Mishna Avot 4: 3
 Ecclesiastes 7:14
 Tanya Shaar Hayichud V’ha’emuna Chapter 1
 Hayom Yom 25 Nissan
 Sefer Hasichos 5704, p. 154-155
 Hatrakturist Shel Harebi – Harav Hachosid R’ Reuven Dunin