web analytics
November 1, 2014 / 8 Heshvan, 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 »

Zachor – Feeling Low Leads To Lowliness


Parsha-Perspectives-logo

A colossal failure of mammoth proportions.

Shaul HaMelech fails in his mission to destroy the nation of Amalek in its entirety and to this day, we suffer from its ever-present force of evil.

What was it that kept Shaul from completing his mission? Why did he spare the life of Agag, the king of Amalek, giving him the opportunity (before Shmuel HaNavi killed him) to have a child whose descendant was the evil Haman? Why did Shaul not kill all of the animals of Amalek as he was told to do?

The Navi tells us (Shmuel Aleph, 15:17): “Haloh im katan atah b’einecha, rosh shivtei Yisrael atah, ve’yimshachacha Hashem l’melech al Yisrael—Is it not true that though you are small in your own eyes, you are the leader of all the tribes of Israel! G-d has anointed you to be the King of Israel!”

When Shmuel questioned why the animals were left alive, Shaul said that the nation expressed their desire to offer the choice animals as korbanos, and he wanted to fulfill their will. Shaul knew that he was under strict orders from Hashem to destroy all of Amalek’s property and wealth but was apparently afraid to go against the will of the nation. According to the Abarbanel, besides the animals, the nation also wanted to keep Agag alive due to his leadership qualities (perhaps thinking he could be of service to them in some way) and Shaul listened.  He was a leader prone to “following the polls” and severely underestimated who he was – and should have been. It is good to be modest and humble but not at the expense of reaching one’s potential, especially one’s spiritual potential. This was Shaul’s “Achilles’ heel.”

And this is a lesson we need to apply to ourselves.

Too often, we look at ourselves and are very disappointed. Will I ever change? Will I ever live up to the resolutions and kabbalos for growth that I make? These thoughts can easily lead to depression and spiritual surrender— the absolute worst possible scenario in ruchniyus. As Reb Nachman of Breslov said, “Depression may not be an aveira, but it’s the biggest aveira.” This is because feeling bad about oneself is the greatest impetus to lowliness.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe in Alei Shur (Volume 2, page 173) stresses that especially in our generation we need to build ourselves up, working on the exaltedness of man, romemus ha’adom, and not knock ourselves down. Once we have established and strengthened ourselves, we can work on our major weaknesses.

In other words, said Rav Wolbe (in his sefer on chinuch), a “fire and brimstone” approach no longer works for most people. As Rav Yitzchok Hutner once said, we are a “soft-drink generation” and have a difficult time ingesting the hard stuff.

Truth be told, though, we have far more temptations and challenges distracting us from avodas Hashem then previous generations. A famous, shocking but true remark from the Satmar Rebbe, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, ztl, was “On one single train ride in New York, one is exposed to more immorality than someone in a European shtetl was exposed to over a lifetime.”

Nowadays, unfortunately, we can add to the Satmar Rebbe’s remark and say the same about a simple drive on the highways, shopping in a mall and even a leisurely walk down the streets, due to the lack of tznius so prevalent in the secular world. Not to mention the very serious issues relating to the Internet.

We seem to be living in the generation the Or HaChaim (Shemos 3:8) described many centuries ago:

“The main purpose of exile is to draw out the sparks of holiness which have become severely damaged through the (Jewish People’s) descent into the 50 gates of impurity. We are promised though that in the future, Hashem, the Kel Elyon, will rain down and influence us with an abundance of the living Torah (Toras Chaim) with which to combat and survive the 50th gate (of impurity with the 50th gate of wisdom). We can only achieve the wisdom of the 50th gate by experiencing the exile. This will all occur especially in the last exile. . .The Torah of the last exile will serve to muzzle the mouth of impurity and it will be utterly destroyed.”

About the Author:


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 “Zachor – Feeling Low Leads To Lowliness”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Judaism Stories
PTI-103114

People love their GPS; just type in the address and it tells you exactly how to get to where you want to go.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

In the same way as a married woman is precluded from marrying another man without a get, so too is this widow prohibited from marrying another man without chalitzah.

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Ban Of The Communities
‘Impaired Chalitzah’
(Yevamos 26b)

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

“My mother raised us to independence, all of us,” Rivka says, which certainly plays itself out in the fact that all three children have taken a different path.

“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”

Bris Bein Habesarim affirmed that Hashem gave the land to Avraham’s children. It does not specify for how long. It did not guarantee the Jewish people eternal ownership of the land

According to the Raavad if one who is uncircumcised breaks something he will be exempt from paying for it since he was chayav kares at the same time as he was obligated to repay for the item he broke.

Why does Hebrew refer to mothers-in-law as “sunshine” when society often calls them the opposite?

Having herself been victimized by Pharoah, Sarah should have been more sensitive to Hagar.

Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.

How do the stories in Lech Lecha help us understand the central tension of Abraham’s life, legacy?

Abraham did not govern society but instead was the representative of God’s kingdom on earth.

Hagar grossly miscalculated her own merits and demonstrated a serious lack of gratitude for Sarai.

Noach was the lonely man of faith living in a depraved world, full of wickedness.

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-101014-Zecharia

Hashem created all human beings and it should sadden us when Hashem, their Father, does not see nachas from them.

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

“When a mother plays with her child there is an acute awareness of the child. But even when the mother works at a job or is distracted by some other activity, there is a natural, latent awareness of her child’s existence.

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews.

Sometimes when Chazal say that two different people are really one, they do not mean it literally, but rather figuratively.

Yehoshua knew that the outcome of the battles would depend not on military might, but on the spiritual strength of Klal Yisrael.

The question begs: how in the world can we accept that Bnei Yisrael en masse did not ever keep the mitzvah of shemittah?

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/zachor-feeling-low-leads-to-lowliness/2013/02/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: