True Fulfillment Is Inside

Yael Eckstein  |  March 7, 2024

Black and white Illustration of Moses holding the 10 Commandments.

The LORD said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.” — Exodus 34:1

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. This week’s Torah portion is Ki Tisa, which means “when you raise up,” from Exodus 30:11—34:35.

One of my favorite movies growing up was The Wizard of Oz. I was terrified of the wicked witch, enchanted by the magical land of Oz, and loved Dorothy’s pretty ruby slippers. But when I re-watched the movie as an adult, I realized that beyond the fantasy, it had some deep messages about life. At the end of the movie, Dorothy was asked what she learned, and her reply is the true magic of the movie. She said, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there… then I never really lost it to begin with.”

In other words, happiness isn’t somewhere over the rainbow, it is right here, wherever God has placed us.

According to Jewish tradition, when God commanded Moses to carve out new tablets to replace the ones that were broken, Moses had trouble finding sapphire from which to make them. Moses looked everywhere, but couldn’t find the stones. Then God appeared to him and told him that the sapphire was underground, right beneath his own tent. Moses had looked everywere but where he was. What he had searched high and low for was right there with him all along.

True Fulfillment Is Inside

Like Moses, many of us make the mistake of looking for fulfillment everywhere but where we are. We think we will find happiness in a new car, a different house, or an exotic vacation. We think, if only my spouse were different, my child was easier, or my job was better—then everything would be great. But the truth is that everything we need for fulfillment in our lives is already within us.

Every time I travel for work and leave my family, my country, and my daily routine, I am reminded that there truly is “no place like home.” My greatest treasures are in my own backyard, and God has given me everything I need—challenges and all—to be truly happy and complete.

Your Turn:

Where do you find your greatest treasures? Let us know in your comments below!