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The Systems of the Jewish Year

"The Hero" - Comments

1 Yehoshua on 2012 11 02

Thank you, rabbi, as usual, for a thought provoking dvar Torah.  I once heard an interview with Rav Steinsaltz where he said that the distinguishing feature of the Jews’ classic work, the Torah, as opposed to the classic works of other religions, is that the hero of our story is not a human being.  Our hero is HaShem.  (e.g. the hero of the Xtians’ book is Yoshka, the hero of the Moslems’ book is Mohammad).  It was not Moshe but HaShem who took us out of Egypt and gave us the Torah.  It is fascinating that many of our gedolim are known by the names of their seforim alone.  Almost everyone recognizes the name of Chofetz Chaim, but how many know his actual name (Yisrael Meir Kagan)?
I once saw a ma’amar by the Lubavitcher rebbe on the subject of faith where he said that Yiddishkeit was sustained throughout the generations by people whose names we do not know.  He likened these people of faith to the roots of a tree, who presence is invisible yet sustaining.  Gut Shabbos!

2 Yehoshua on 2015 10 23

I see more clearly now than ever the truth of your words.  The true hero seeks anonymity, not glory.  Avraham did not regard himself as someone special, just as someone with a special mission.  It’s the act that counts!  The first word Hashem speaks to the first Jew is “Lech!” “Go!” This is before Matan Torah, but the word “lech” is also found in the world “halachah.” So Hashem seems to be saying go, but go according to My commands.  And so Avraham was Hashem’s chariot, turing this way and that according to the Divine will.

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