The Empowerment of Encouragement – Parsha insights – Pinchas (Sages of Mussar)

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The Saba of Kelm taught, “A little bit holds a great deal.” Meaning, there are some things in life that produce a powerful benefit in small doses. One of these “small dynamos” is encouragement. For instance, when HaShem appointed Yehoshua to succeed Moshe as the leader of Klal Yisrael, Moshe said to him, “Be strong and courageous.”

Yehoshua was the greatest student of Moshe and a Prophet. Nevertheless, Moshe recognized the importance of encouraging him. The words of Moshe strengthened Yehoshua and he succeeded to bring the People of Israel into the Land of Israel and conquer the thirty-one kingdoms.

Encouragement can also be effectively applied to oneself. For instance, when Klal Yisrael engaged in harlotry with the Midianite women, all of the leaders stood by in a state of helplessness. Pinchas ben Elazar, strengthened himself and found the courage to stand up to – and put an end to – the immorality.

If not for his action, the entire nation would have died. Therefore, the “little bit” of pulling himself together, produced “a great deal.” Specifically, his heroism saved the entire Nation of Israel.

May we strengthen ourselves as well as other people in Torah study, good deeds, and virtue of character. A “little” encouragement will be the catalyst of “a great deal” of wisdom, kindness, and elevation (based on Ohr RaShaz of the Alter of Kelm, Rav Simcha Zissel).

Today: Encourage yourself and strengthen a friend – and generate a great deal of goodness.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation



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