Be A Hero! - Shoftim
Imagine being a boxer in the biggest fight of your life. For the first half of the fight you were able to see every one of your opponent’s moves beforehand, and react accordingly. Now though, things have changed. Your timing is off, and he is destroying you punch by punch.
Now imagine you are a spectator and you went to see this fight. You watch as your hero walks into the ring, ready to knock down anything that comes their way. For the first half of the fight you see them basically knockout the opponent, but then something strange happens and they start to lose. The opponent is not just barely breathing, but on top of your hero giving him brutal blows to the head. In this ongoing dialog, let us switch back to the perspective of being the fighter while getting hit. The choice you have while being under attack is either to keep fighting, possibly till your last strength, or give up and tap out.
This week's Parsha is Parshas Shoftim. I learned in Likkutei Sichos, this week, that when the Torah talks about Shoftim/Judges, it can be translated as leaders. The judges were being instituted at this time to be the leader figures of the nation.
In terms of being a leader, especially when you have a following, like the boxer, you can't back down. A leader can be broken and battered, but if he taps out, so will everyone else who looks up to him.
In life, we have so many situations when giving up is a tempting answer. It’s too hard, so why bother trying if the odds are against me? The answer is that even if you don't think so, someone is looking up to you. Someone may see you stop trying, and they may stop trying with whatever they were putting effort into. So this week, let us take the message of Likkutei Sichos and the Chumash to heart, and try to be the leaders that we were put here to be.
Have an amazing shabbos!
All the best
Avroham Y Ross