Vayera 5769

Vayera- Chayei Sarah November 11, 2008–11–16 “The nerve of her!.” when someone says that about you it usually is not a compliment. In fact being nervy and chutzpahdik is a bad trait. It is the antithesis of the personality of the true Jew- merciful, shy and doing loving-kindness. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in his discourse on this parsha spends much effort in explaining the need a person has for HOLY chutzpah. In order to merit in Torah and holiness one must have it. What is holy chutzpah? Almost everything a person wants to accomplish in life is most probably accompanied with obstacles and frustration. Often we are even brought down to our knees. Without holy chutzpah we wouldn’t be able to jump over or break through the barriers. If a person has a “nebuch” attitude and have fear and doubt every time he had to climb to the next level in his life, he wouldn’t be able to succeed. By no means should he say, “I can’t do it.” This goes within the realm of worship too. You should have faith in yourself that you (yeah, little you!!) are precious in Hashem’s eyes and that everything you do in life is important to Heaven. When you know that what you do is only for heavens sake then the very idea of false pride, nervy chutzpah (bearing no resemblance to holy chutzpah) is not even muttered in his thoughts or feelings. You stand like a pillar rooted into the ground, nothing can topple you. When King David came to fight the giant Goliath, he probably looked like a grasshopper. His own brothers had no belief in his ability to win this battle. How did it look? Probably ridiculous- “Hey kid! Off the stage!” everyone called to him. He didn’t need their approval because he wasn’t there to prove to his macho self a personal win. He was there fighting Hashem’s battle. Many times we see this unfortunately in many realms of our lives, teachers who don’t believe in the special qualities of our kids, parents who don’t believe in their kids, governments that don’t see the power and potential of certain groups that can influence for goodness and propriety. Having ayin tova, a good eye on people is a G-dly attribute. This applies not only to people but to circumstances. In Genesis 18, “And Sarah laughed (inwardly)”… upon hearing that at the age of 99 she would conceive. For Sarah, a person so humble and small, it was hard to believe that she would indeed bear a child. Certainly there is nothing Hashem can’t do. Here our Rabbis have an axe to grind with her. She needed to have holy chutzpah and believe that Hashem can do anything. Even when salvation seems very far away. Sarah is answered, “Hepaaleh mehashem davar?” “Can anything be too miraculous for Hashem?” The Haftara also stresses the same lesson as the Shunamite (Kings 2:4) totally believes that Elisha will revive her son and stands in holy chutzpah against all the odds. Therefore, we witness the child coming back to life in the merit of his mother’s holy chutzpah. (the Zohar states that he later becomes the prophet Chabakuk). A person is never allowed to give up hope. That is pure faith. There is another element of holy chutzpah that many of us are faced with and that is of his Torah identity in a secular world. It has become a custom for only the last 200 years (out of 2,000) to whitewash any traces of kedusha or distinct holiness that we hold in the secular world. Our leaders here in Israel feel it is better to “blend in”. To look and act like the rest of the world, they believe, will bring lasting peace (as the bombs are dropping on shopping centers in Ashkelon today). Why do they so have an aversion to settlers? Because we have holy chutzpah. These are the lands that, yeah, are being spoken about in the parasha. These are our garments and we wear them proudly. They are Jewish garments and no, we don’t want to blend in. When yang, the flame that ignites the soul, is cooled down with too much yin in order to “walk with mankind”, the dark side of humbleness is revealed. A Jew should be proud of his real and eternal roots, his Torah, his look, his being. He should look into the face of the world with the truth of holy chutzpah and illuminate. Our matriarch Sarah (as well as Rivka and Leah and the avot) are buried in the heart of Chevron. Who would turn their backs on their grandmothers in order to “blend” and create a “new middle east” (Shimon Perez) Who, against the odds (because the world aint wantin’ us there) says that Shechem, Chevron and Yerushalayim are my eternal roots in Holy Chutzpah? Dear Readers, (and they shouldn’t say the nerve of her!) I have put together 2 parshas this week because we will be going all the way to the Golan to our son’s completion of training in the military. He is a happy and proud Jewish soldier serving his country. I must put in some holy chutzpah requests from our dear readers this week. Itamar as you know is growing in leaps and bounds. It is the only community that boasts 8 hilltops. Because of the tremendous resources that we need for upkeep and further continuing in these vital projects, we turn to you for immediate help. We are in a deficit that is demanding your assistance. We thank you already for being there for us and know that without your holy chutzpah in our joint mission here in the holy land, it just wouldn’t succeed. All tax deductable checks to “Friends of Itamar” and addressed to: Lester Goldsmith 1483 East 34th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11234 USA. Shabbat Shalom Leah Goldsmith

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