Story-ideas-1011172

Meeting life’s challenges

  • RabbiLandau
In this week’s parshah, the time arrived for Aaron and his children to take their privileged places as the Kohanim in the tabernacle. Aaron is asked to perform a sin-offering, which is performed with a calf.
by Rabbi Yonatan Landau, Assistant Rabbi Ohr Somayach Savoy | Mar 28, 2019

However, he hesitates, so Moshe beckons him to come and perform it, and he acquiesces. Rashi explains that Aaron’s hesitation stemmed from the feeling of guilt that he had about his part in the golden calf. What transpired was that after Hashem revealed the ten commandments, Moshe went back up Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights. The Jews miscalculated when he would return, and presumed him dead.

Some put pressure on Aaron to build an intermediary in a misled attempt to replace Moshe. Acknowledging the panic and worry amongst the Jews, Aaron attempted to delay its building, but owing to some evil people, the golden calf was built and worshipped.

Even though his involvement had been intended to prevent false worship, he felt uneasy using the same type of animal in Hashem’s service. Moshe rejected that, and told him, “It is for this that you were chosen.” These are cryptic words, what do they mean?

The Imrei Emes explains this with a general rule:

The great Kabbalist, Rav Chaim Vital, tells us that in life, each person will find some area of themselves that seems insurmountable. This can manifest in many ways, for example laziness or anger. However, Hashem has given us that test because we are able succeed. Furthermore, when we identify our own personal area of struggle, we should know that it is specifically for that that we were created.

Let’s return to our question. Aaron felt that since he had erred regarding a calf in sacrificial service, it would be inappropriate for him to be the one to perform such a service for Hashem. Moshe explained that the very fact that he had erred in this area was a sign that he was the exact person for this service, as if to say, “That is what you were born to fix!”

We can learn a few vital things from this:

First, there is never a reason to despair when it comes to improving ourselves for even the toughest challenges that are tailor-made for us.

Second, success in Hashem’s eyes is not measured by what makes the papers, but by what one achieves within oneself.

Finally, Hashem is our life training coach who sets targets that are within reach of achievement.

Hashem should bless us to strive forward in life with positivity and gratitude, and may we merit to see our success in our spiritual endeavours.

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