web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
PLO / PA / Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
PA Back Down on ICC in Exchange for Frozen Tax Revenue
Latest Judaism Stories
Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Outside of the High Holidays, Pesach is probably the most celebrated biblical holiday for the majority of Jews.

Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

More Articles from Rabbi Boruch Leff
Leff-032015

These four parshiyos are viewed as steps in a progression toward Pesach, the Yom Tov of teshuvah m’ahavah, of returning to Hashem out of love.

Leff-021315

Just having basic emunah during these times of great spiritual challenges is inestimable in Hashem’s eyes.

In reality, there is no such thing as an unimportant detail, an unimportant mitzvah.

“A person should sell even the beams of his own house in order to buy shoes.”

If you’re always battling against getting older, you’re always going to be unhappy.

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

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.

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: