Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Bo

A Position Of Strength

By Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig

The ninth of the ten plagues to strike the Egyptians was darkness. The Torah relates that during this affliction "no [Egyptian] could see his brother nor could anyone rise from his place for a three day period; but for all the children of Israel there was light in their dwellings." (Shemos/Exodus 10:23) G-d created a tangible darkness through which the Jews were able to see but the Egyptians were not. Why was it necessary for G-d to create such a miraculous darkness? Could He not have temporarily blinded the Egyptians and accomplished the same thing?

Chasam Sofer (1) explains that G-d did not want to blind the Egyptians because a natural outcome of blindness is a heightened sensitivity of the other senses. By engineering a circumstance that they were able to see but the darkness obstructed the function of that ability, not only were they practically unable to see, but their expended effort diverted their focus and attention from the other senses they could have utilized.

Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler (2) expounds that it is ideal for a person to use a similar methodology in his service of G-d. Initially, a person should recognize his strengths and focus on them. His improvement in these areas will have a ripple effect on the other areas of his life in which he is deficient; his certain success in his areas of strength will generate successes in his weaker areas as well.

Just as the blind person instinctively focuses his energies to the senses he can utilize and is more successful as a result, we should also focus on our own strengths and capabilities. If a person has a natural proclivity for acts of kindness or prayer, he should focus on that first rather than focusing all of his energies on his weak points. To ignore this advice is to condemn oneself to the curse of the Egyptians: wasting time attempting performance of the impossible, while squandering valuable energies and actual strengths that contain such vast potential.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) Rabbi Moshe Sofer of Pressburg; 1762-1839; acknowledged leader of Hungarian Jewry of the time (2) in Michtav Me'Eliyahu, his collected writings and discourses; 1891-1954; of London and B'nai Brak, one of the outstanding personalities and thinkers of the Mussar movement

Please forward your questions for Rabbi Jarcaig to RabbiJarcaig@MilwaukeeKollel.org


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies · 5007 West Keefe Avenue · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · 414-447-7999


 

ARTICLES ON TAZRIA AND METZORAH:

View Complete List

What a Difference a Night Makes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Everyone Is Vulnerable
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Have A Good Look
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

> Ignoramus Kohen: Fool or Am Haaretz?
- 5769

The Pain and Pleasure of Being Human
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Degrees of Separation Degrees of Equality
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Learning A Lesson From G-d Through Punishment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

A Matter Of Life And Death
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Chirp Chirp
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

ArtScroll

Guarding Against Feeling Too Good About Oneself
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

The Power of Words
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

If Only!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Critical Opinion
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

The End, or the Means to an End
Shlomo Katz - 5758

All Alone
Shlomo Katz - 5765

ReJEWvination at the Source
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information