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 MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

The Sword is Mightier than the Pen
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Certified Kosher
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Why Should We Remember?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Who Makes Up The Rules?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Money And The Kids
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

> Crossover Holiness
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Wandering No More
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Motivational Techinque
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

ArtScroll

How to Vow Your Audience
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

The Stuff of Real Life
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A New Chapter
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Where Have You Been?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Kinder and Gentler Killers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Oath of Office
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759



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