Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reb Tzadok: The Area of Our Greatest Weakness is the Area of Our Greatest Strength

Rav Tzadok Hakohen, in Tzidkus Hatzadik #70, says that the area of one's biggest failings is davka the area of his biggest greatness, and through davka that thing, he will reach very high levels.

He says that the Gemara in Sanhedrin 70a says that "שבדבר שקלקלו בו נתקנו," "in the area in which one has sined, through that area he will be mesukan [repaired]."

This is also why the Gemara says, in Yershalmi Brachos 2:4, that "ביומא דאיתיליד איחרוב בית מוקדשא," that on the day that the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed, Moshiach was born. Rav Tzadok seems to be using this Gemara to say that we see that on the very day of the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh, which personifies our faults, Moshiach was born. That is to say that from the very faults themselves arise the tikun to those faults, Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

He also says that this is the principal which underlies the statement in the Midrash Raba in Parshas Chukas that the Para Aduma, the Red Heiffer, is davka the atonement for the impurity created by the sin of the Golden Calf, the "idolotry" that was done with a baby heiffer.

It all goes back to the principal that Hashem gives the person his greatest difficulties in a certain area because that is the area in which he has the biggest potential for greatness.

This can be difficult to understand. One could feel that if he takes this advice, then he will put all of his efforts into his area of greatest difficulty in Avodas Hashem. But he could worry that if he does this, then he's just setting himself up for failure when the challenge is too much for him. A person may think that it would be better to put off those big fights and, instead, work on those areas of growth which are easier for him. I definitely think that this is the propper way to go most of the time. The discouragement that can come from failure can do more damage that if the person had just focused on the easier battles.

However, I think that we also have to keep in mind what Rav Tzadok said in Tzidkus Hatzadik #45, about one whose heart has become so closed that Teshuva has been closed off from him. He says that when such a person makes himself humble, and empties himself out until he is like "nothing," then Hashem "creates something from nothing." When a person stops relying on his own "inner strength" to overcome his weakness, that is when the person is ready to realize that it was really Hashem all allong, who gave him the "koach la'asos chayil," the ability to accomplish things in Avodas Hashem. It is only when one makes himself as nothing, that he will be ready to realize that the koach to have his teshuva accepted comes from Hashem and not himself.

May Hashem give us the koach to see our tikun in our area of greatest difficulty and help us be zocheh to true anavah, humility very soon!

-Dixie Yid

(Picture courtesy of Mysterium)

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