Tzav (Shushan Purim): Are You Losing Control?
Do you feel like you’re losing control? Do you think the political climate is becoming unstable? If so, is there any way we can plan for the future? Human beings need clarity. It allows our faculties to operate to an optimum level. Uncertainty is profoundly debilitating. Jews however are uniquely equipped to not only operate under these conditions, but to thrive. Our greatest achievements as a people have happened precisely at times of great uncertainty. Abraham introduced monotheism to the world notwithstanding the risk to his personal life, with no clarity about his future. Moses challenged the mighty Pharaoh with no clear strategy about the possible ramifications. Nachahon takes a leap of faith as he jumps into the Red Sea. In the story of Purim it is Mordechai alone who defiantly stands tall and proud in the face of a most intimidating antisemite. Ben Gurion declared the independence of Israel notwithstanding unanimous world opinion to the contrary. We are the chosen people endowed by G-d to be a “light unto the nations”. This “light” is embedded in the timeless values of our tradition. We have the privilege and responsibility to share these values with mankind irrespective of their popularity. A society needs moral leadership. It cannot make decisions on its own. Left to its own devices it will choose the path of least resistance. The Jewish people have to muster the courage to share those values with the world. To do so respectfully and unapologetically. Even if it flies in the face of popular opinion. Even if it goes against “conventional wisdom”. Our strength as a people has always been in our defiance of “conventional wisdom”. We are all “believers, the children of believers”. We are connected to a force greater than mankind. We have achieved greatness only when we played to our strengths. Let us not be afraid to do so.