Efforts Are Necessary – But There Are No Guarantees

Although there’s certainly a correlation between efforts made on behalf of a Shul event and the results, there are no guarantees that an event will be successful. Your efforts are important nonetheless.

A very recent example comes to mind. In coordinating the ticket ordering for the Siyum HaShas event at Met Life stadium many calls were made and emails sent to the Agudah Siyum headquarters to find out about the seating options. The goal was to clarify what were the benefits of the seats at the varying price levels.

Even after gathering the information, it had to presented to Shul members to try and guide them towards a decision that would make sense for them based on the research and analysis. It seems simple enough, but people have their own understandings of situations and they’ll sometimes ignore information that you think is relevant.

At the end of the day, you can only do so much and people need to make their own decisions. If they make a wrong decision, it’s important, albeit sometimes difficult, to refrain from saying “I told you so”. The goal is to help others be right, and if they end up on the wrong side of the decision, your job is to console and not criticize.

Even if your information and analysis is solid, there are always factors beyond your control which may effect the success of the event. And sometimes events beyond your control, can put a cherry on top of your efforts. In the case of the Siyum, the cherry was added was that people, at every price range, were by and large very happy with their seats. Part of that was due to the “beyond our control” seating upgrades that we received when the Agudah had to upgrade some seats due to changes in the women’s seating configuration. Even those who spent more for their seats, and who didn’t receive upgrades, were very happy because the expected benefits of those seats clearly materialized.

An added bonus was the rain situation. Before the event started it was raining and many of the blocks of seats purchased were covered, and the people under those coverings were very happy. Once the event started, the rain stopped completed and all 90,000 people greatly appreciated the lack of rain. G-d was surely smiling and saying hello to all of us.

Here’s the summary.
– If you assume responsibility for an event, make the maximum efforts for its success
– Even with maximum efforts, success is not guaranteed
– It’s important to remember that G-d truly holds the keys and is ultimate the source of all success
– It’s nice when things work out well, but community projects are about doing your best to help, regardless of the results.