web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Power Of A Tzibbur


The-Shmuz

“If you go in my ways and follow my statutes…. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and they will fall from your sword.” – Vayikra 26:8

The Torah is very explicit that if the Jewish nation follows the ways of Hashem, we will enjoy peace, prosperity, and success in all of our endeavors. We will plant and harvest abundant crops, our borders will be secure. Life will be good. Included in this is a guarantee that in battle with our enemies we will be astonishingly successful; small numbers of our weakest soldiers will chase down and annihilate far larger groups of the enemy.

When describing this phenomenon, the Torah is very specific: five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand. Rashi is troubled by the proportions. If five will chase a hundred, then the ratio is 1:20. By that proportion, a hundred should chase 2,000. Yet the Torah tells us that 100 will chase 10,000, a ratio five times greater than what it should be. Why would the group of a hundred be five times more effective than the group of five?

Rashi explains: “There is no comparison between a few keeping the Torah to a multitude keeping the Torah.”

It is clear from this Rashi that the only distinction between the two groups is in numbers. Rashi isn’t saying the group of a hundred had more kavanah when they did the mitzvah. Nor is he telling us that they were greater people, or that they were engaged in a holier act. The only difference is that there are more of them involved. The question is, why should a larger group be exponentially more effective simply because of its size?

If Rashi were telling us that from a psychological standpoint there is strength in numbers and the group gives chizuk to each other so that they will fight better, it would make sense. Or if because they were a large assembly of people, they were strengthening each other in the purity of their intentions and were more l’shmo, we could understand why they would be more successful. However, that isn’t the difference. It is simply the fact that there are more of them. Why should the same people, on the same madgregah, doing the same mitzvah, be so many more times successful simply because they are a larger group?

The answer to this question lies in understanding the systems that Hashem created and gave over to man.

On August 6, 1945, the Japanese city of Hiroshima was obliterated. Never before in the course of history had man unleashed so much power and destruction in one act. For many, it took a long time to comprehend. How was it possible to destroy an entire city? Man had been using explosives for thousands of years, but nothing of this magnitude. There were five hundred-pound bombs that could destroy buildings, one thousand-pound bombs that could level an apartment complex, but how did they wipe out a city? Miles and miles of rubble and destruction – everything leveled. “How large can the bomb possibly be? How many explosives can you possibly pack into one plane?

The reason it was so difficult to comprehend was because the force was derived from a completely different set of principles and didn’t work with the old rules. Hashem had allowed man to harness the power of the atom – an energy source more than a million times more powerful than conventional weapons. It was a whole new reality, and the old frame of reference had little bearing.

So too, in the spiritual world, Hashem has created certain forces that are powerful and magnify the efforts of man a thousandfold or more. When a sofer takes parchment and ink, writes the parshios with the right intentions, and inserts them into properly prepared batim, an object has been created. That object is far greater than any of its parts.

A pair of tefillin comprises one of the holiest objects in creation. The parshios themselves had a certain level of kedushah; the batim themselves prepared l’shmo have some holiness to them. But when all of the parts are brought together, it creates a new entity that is exponentially more holy and potent than the sum of its parts. A kosher pair of tefillin has been created. The object itself is now kodesh, and when man wears them, he harnesses powerful forces that affect both this world and the upper worlds in ways that are difficult to imagine.

So too, when Jews gather together to perform a holy act, it is no longer ten or twenty individuals; it is a new entity – a tzibbur. That tzibbur is far more powerful than the sum of all its members. It is now in a new category and taps an energy source that is infinitely more powerful than any of the individual members can muster. The impact and effect that it brings about is far greater and it can now accomplish far more than any of its members acting alone.

This seems to be the answer to this Rashi. Much like a kosher pair of tefillin or a complete sefer Torah, a hundred Jews acting in unison reach a new plateau of effectiveness, multiple times that of the individuals involved. They have tapped the force of the tzibbur. A hundred will chase ten thousand.

This concept has great relevance to us in helping us be more successful. The Gemara (Tannis 8a) tells us that while all prayer works, for it to be heard, it must be said with an outpouring of emotion. Only when tefillah comes from a deep devotion and is expressed with sincere, powerful intention, will it move mountains – unless it is said b’tzibbur. Then, with or without this deep level of kavanah, it will accomplish its intended purpose.

It is clear from the Gemara that the same prayer, the same intention, and the same person will find much greater results from his davening because has joined a minyan. He may not have changed, but his circumstances have. He is now in an assemblage that has joined together, and its efficacy far outweighs that of all the individuals combined. By sharing in the merit of that group, his prayer will have a far greater effect. He has put the power of a tzibbur to work.

The Shmuz book, “Stop Surviving and Start Living” is available in stores, at www.TheShmuz.com, or by calling 866-613-TORAH (8672).

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of the Shmuz.com – The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at the www.theShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


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 “The Power Of A Tzibbur

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."
‘Jews Against Genocide’ Take ‘Blood Bucket Challenge’ at Yad Vashem [video]
Latest Judaism Stories

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

PTI-092614-Shofar

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
The-Shmuz

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

The-Shmuz

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

A replica reminds a person of the original. Granted it is in miniature, and granted no one would mistake it for the original, but it carries, almost in caricature form, some semblance of the original.

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

While it’s clear to you and to me that a 14,000-pound creature can easily break away from the light ropes holding it, the reality is that it cannot.

One of the manifestations of the immature person is a sense of entitlement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-power-of-a-tzibbur/2013/05/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: