Today 5th Elul, 5769 – eMussar Lesson –
The Powerful Faith of Israel
eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.
PARSHA INSIGHTS\THE SAGES OF MUSSAR
The fundamental axiom of the Torah rests on two pillars that comprise faith in the Oneness of HaShem: 1) to believe that HaShem is the Creator of the universe; 2) to believe that HaShem oversees every second of our life, He is with us every place we go, and He sees our actions and knows our innermost thoughts. In light of this principle, we can understand the reason that there is a radical difference between the armies of the nations, in contradistinction to the Jewish army as ordained by Toras HaShem.
The armies of the other nations operate on the assumption that the stronger and smarter the troops, the better the army. Whereas, the perspective of the Torah army is that their success is dependent exclusively on HaShem. Dovid HaMelech expressed this dichotomy in Tehillim: “Some [nations trust] in chariots, and some [nations trust] in horses, but we – in the name of HaShem, our G-d, we call out!”
Therefore, when a Jewish soldier is newly married, no matter how important his military role – he is exempt from serving in the army, even in a time of war. Rather, he is required to stay home and develop a joyous relationship with his new wife (Devarim 24:5). However, in the armies of the other nations, the priority is getting every capable man into the battle. Hence, even if his wedding took place the night before, the groom is expected to follow orders and go off to war the next morning. Since, they pin their hopes on the ability of their troops to wage the battle; it would be preposterous to grant exemptions to any able-bodied members of their army – including the newly married.
Conversely, Klal Yisrael deliberately takes measures to disengage any notion that victory is dependent upon the performance of its soldiers. For instance, Gideon led the army that defended ancient Israel against the attack of Midian and Amalek. Although he raised an army of some 30,000 fighter men, ultimately HaShem instructed him to pare his force to a mere 300 men!
From a Torah perspective, we have a better chance of victory with 300 men than 30,000. Indeed, HaShem told Gideon to minimize his forces “lest Yisrael will grow proud and proclaim, “The power of my own hand saved me.'” Similarly, in the army of King Saul, the only soldier who carried a weapon was King Saul, himself!
Nothing is more disheartening for a bride than to watch her husband going off to war. After all their efforts to unite in marriage nothing should deprive them of the opportunity of this joyous time in their lives. The Torah has the sensitivity – and the faith – to grant the groom a one year exemption, so that he can devote himself to filling his wife with happiness.
[Based on Da’as Torah of Rabenu Yerucham HaLevi, parshas Ki Tatzei]
TODAY: Read one chapter of Psalms before you engage in your endeavors.
By Rabbi Zvi Miller.
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