web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Parshas Terumah: The Value Of Effort

Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Shlomo HaMelech begins his description of the woman of valor by declaring that no woman reaches such levels simply by chance or by getting lucky. You can’t just “find” a woman of valor because she isn’t something that just happens. In that sense her value is “far from pearls” which are a matter of luck. Many women have made themselves[2] into women of valor, albeit only through great effort and introspection.

 

During the last few decades a plethora of “gedolim books” have been written.[3] These books, written with painstaking effort, offer a glimpse into the regal lives of our greatest leaders. But there is one notable fault inherent in these books. Very often they characterize the gadol as being otherworldly, as a person who transcended the challenges and struggles that we encounter every day of our lives. This not only makes the gadol seem “out of reach,” it is also simply untrue.

The Torah does not mince words when it comes to the shortcomings and failings of our greatest leaders. This, despite the fact that the “failings” of Biblical personalities were so subtle and exacting that for the common person those same actions may be even be considered meritorious. The Torah wishes to teach us that every person struggles and at times fails; it’s part of the human experience. What differentiates great people from the masses is that they do not allow themselves to wallow in their mistakes. They dust themselves off and get back in the ring.

HaRav Aharon Feldman eloquently expresses this point.[4] “With a few noteworthy exceptions, these books frequently ignore the self-sacrifice and dedication which of necessity must have gone into the development of every gadol. They often overlook the fact that certainly these men must have had moments of self-doubt, error, and human frailty, and that each had times when he needed encouragement, love, and friendship. Great men are humans just as much as other men; on the contrary, they are great because they faced and overcame the human shortcomings that they had. Because the book focuses its attention on the superficial picture and not on the personal details, these biographies can emerge as unreal and difficult to identify with, thus undermining their educational impact…

“When some forty years ago the Ponovezher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Kaheneman ztl, decided to found a kollel in Bnei Brak with the express purpose of producing gedolim, his initial idea was to admit only young men blessed with brilliant intellectual faculties. When he presented his plan to the Chazon Ish, the latter expressed his reservations. “Shouldn’t there be a kollel where a future Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan can develop?” he tersely asked. The Chazon Ish was implying that Rabbi Yitzcahk Elchanan Spektor, the fabled Rav of Kovno, author of major halachic works and recognized as the undisputed leader of European Jewry at the turn of the (19th) century, was not a natural genius. By restricting his kollel to gifted minds, the Chazon Ish was saying, the Ponovezher Rav might be denying the next generation of leaders of this caliber.

“True, many gedolim in Jewish history were blessed with prodigious mental gifts, but this was not why they grew to be gedolim. Rabbi Aharon Kotler ztl, founder of Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, N.J., and a full fledged genius if there ever was one, used to cherish Edison’s adage (which one of his students once cited to him) that ‘genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.’ It was obvious to listeners that he held his own accomplishments to be, not the result of his instantaneous grasp and phenomenal memory, but of his hard work.”

About the Author: Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW is the Rabbi of Kehillat New Hempstead in Monsey NY. He is also Guidance Counselor/Rebbe in ASHAR and Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch. His website is www.stamtorah.info. He can be reached at stamtorah@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Parshas Terumah: The Value Of Effort”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
cease fire!
Ceasefire Talks Again
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

When taking any major step in life it is a good idea to carefully re-evaluate one’s past.

Rabbi Sacks

Ours is a small and intensely vulnerable people. Inspired, we rise to greatness. Uninspired, we fall

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

The-Shmuz

When Hashem first thought (if it could be) about creating the world, the middah of din was in operation.

Hallel On Purim?
“Its Reading Is Its Praise”
(Megillah 14a)

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

It is apparent from the Maharsha that he does not see galus as atoning for killing accidentally; otherwise, this Gemara would not bother him.

It was found to be a giant deer tick living in her head – with its claws in her scalp.

While daydreaming about finding the perfect job, I never expected to be rewarded in spades for my aforementioned experience.

We are all entrusted with the mission of protecting our fellow Jews

Today, we remain Hashem’s nachal.

Will Your brothers go to war, while you sit (in peace) here? (Bamidbar 32:6)

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Over the next 2 weeks covering portion Matot and Maasei, Rabbi Fohrman will bring order to confusion.

Our home is in the center of the Holy Land, surrounded by (what else?) green hills and valleys.

More Articles from Rabbi Dani Staum
Staum-062714

After listening to the driver’s incredible story, Rabbi Levenstein asked him, “What about you? After seeing such a miracle why didn’t you became Torah observant?”

Staum-061314

Twelve of the greatest leaders of the nation, one from each shevet, were dispatched to survey the land. The results of that mission were catastrophic.

It is one thing to do a chesed for someone one time or when it is convenient. But for a person to go a few hours out of his way every year for a stranger demonstrates incredible selflessness.

Rav Pam said we must realize that God has no pleasure from such negative speech.

A friend of mine recently heard a comment that left him stunned. A colleague told him that his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, who had recently lost her husband of five decades, told her son, “You should know, being alone is worse than Auschwitz!”

Even if he has committed sins that warrant his rejection from the community, he is never rejected by G-d.

Winston Churchill repeated a grade during elementary school. He twice failed the exam to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to the convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up!”

That was G-d’s original request, that Moshe “please” speak to the people and request that they borrow and share with their own friends – their fellow Jews, and demonstrate fraternity and devotion.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/parshas-terumah-the-value-of-effort/2014/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: