Dear Rachel,

I have been offered an opportunity for a new job, a good one, which would require making many changes in my life. The problem is that I really hate change. Please help!

Rooted to the Spot

Dear Rooted,

Roots are good; they provide stability, security and groundedness—as long as you’re still growing upwards. But if you’re stuck in a rut, then it’s time to take stock. Will this job, with its changes, also provide good opportunities for growth? And when you say that you ”hate change,” what exactly are you afraid of?

Change is inevitable because life is dynamic; we—andIf you’re stuck in a rut, it’s time to take stock the world around us—are always changing. Hating change can leave you feeling very stressed and vulnerable when it occurs. And it will.

The balance between remaining rooted and embracing change can be seen in Judaism itself. While our tradition requires us to be loyal to our ancient teachings and practices, we also need to apply Torah law to our new set of circumstances in every generation. Like the moon, which goes through periods of waxing and waning, the Jewish people constantly experience growth and change.

In fact, many of Abraham’s tests involved making a change, such as when G‑d told him to change his life and relocate to another land. And he passed all his tests and became the patriarch of the Jewish people!

Four hundred years later, only one-fifth of the Jews in Egypt left in the Exodus. The other four-fifths died in the plague of darkness. Why? Because even though they led an appalling life of servitude, they preferred to remain in Egypt rather than face the unknown.

A few months later, the Jews were sentenced to 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because they listened to the negative report of the spies who were sent to spy out Israel. They were afraid of change.

So change is good. The Talmud tells us that to change our place (position) is to change our fortune.1 According to Abraham’s mazal (fortune), he wasn’t supposed to have children. But G‑d told him to change his name and his place of residence, and through his faith, his fortune and that of the entire Jewish people changed as well.

It might help you in dealing with this potentialWhat are all the good things that might occur? change if you make a list of all the pros and cons. What are all the good things that might result from this change? What are the not-so-good things that might occur? What strategies and tools can you use to cope with the issues that may come up? What do you need to do to make this move more manageable? Writing things down always helps clarify things and calm scary feelings that arise from the unknown. But it doesn’t have to be scary. The unknown can be very exciting.

May any change you make take firm root and bring you good mazal.