Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Moshe Rabbeinu: The Only Yid that Finally Gave Up

by Dov (See all authors)

The Medrash Tanchuma (Pekudei - 11) relates how the yidden tried to put the Mishkan together after making all it's parts. They were not doing it through their own understanding (the mistake of Nadav and Avihu) rather, they were doing what Hashem had commanded them to do. Nevertheless, it kept falling down.

As would be expected, they did not try only once, but many times. They even went to Betzalel. He couldn't do it either, and it kept falling! "Ba'alei hashkofa" among them likely said - let's keep trying! It has to work, because Hashem commanded us to do it. He would not have given us a command that we couldn't succeed at, right?!

Nevertheless, they eventually saw it was just not going....

They finally brought it all to Moshe Rabeinu. And He tried to put it up himself... and it still just fell each time.

Here comes the recovery concept:

Tanchuma reports that Moshe rabeinu then cried out: "Master of the World, I do not know how to stand this Mishkan up!"

Hashem replied: "Just use your hands to go through the motions of standing the Mishkan up. I will make it stand. It will now look as though you are being successful, and I will even give you credit for it as if you had accomplished the task!"

Ad Kahn.

I ask you: What happened here? Why did Hashem make it so, that they'd fail utterly at what they knew He wanted them to do? Then the only one who succeeded at it was Moshe Rabeinu. But why let him succeed?

And if you'll say that it was all a grand manipulation to get Moshe Rabeinu to be the one to actually make the Mishkan, then why make him initially fail too?

It seems to me that the simple answer is that standing up a Mishkan is not something any human being can do - period. It's inherently impossible.

The only way is for Hashem to do it. But He wants to do it through us.

It turned out that among all those great tzadikim, the only yid who finally gave up and said, "I can't do this, at all. Hashem - You want this to be done, so You'll have to do it. I don't even expect to have a part in it, because I now know that I can't do it at all!"

Only Moshe Rabeinu - the onov mikol odom. Only he "made it" through to the other side of the wall of the human ego - that michitzas barzel mafsekes - and gave up completely. But he didn't just give up and walk away! He knew that a Mishkan must be built! He also knew that he is (and we are) Hashem's agents on earth! But for the first time here, he gave it all to Hashem. As in 'Tofsu umanus avosam' by the yam suf - he cried out to Hashem and gave his avodah all up to Him. "I am Yours. Our Mishkan is Yours! Make it work so that Your Will may be done!"

And look what happened! He not only succeeded, but was even promoted to "Mishkan-Builder" - a job he had failed miserably at before. His credentials were not very good. But he did not need good credentials - Hashem was going to be the One to do it, all the way through to the end! Moshe was only asked to go through the motions. It would work - but only as long as he would retain the admission - hoda'ah - that Moshe was not building it, Hashem was. And Moshe Rabeinu would get s'char as though he built it, as well.

This post is long enough already, but I'll spell out what's dearest to me here and leave the rest to you if you choose to think it through some more.

I am a lust addict. I am powerless over lust. I proved that to myself again and again, fooling myself for many years that I was "fighting the good fight and had to succeed with Hashem on my side!". I was puzzled, disillusioned; almost lost Hashem; my neshama and my life. Back in the midbar, I would have been that one really 'frum' and 'spiritual guy' who would have never, ever given up, while the Mishkan was falling all around me and on me, busting up the k'rashim - and me! They would have had to drag me away, I guess. In this life, I had to be forced to surrender on beating lust my way.

And now I say I am powerless over lust - cuz I am - and give the battle to Him. "Hashem Ish milchamah" - not us. And for Him there is really no battle, of course. He apparently just wants me to let go of my battle and go to Him instead. So I try to run from any battles with lust (it's deadly fire for me!), and I try to give the struggles that I somehow end up entangled in, to Him, as quickly as possible. But the point is, that it's not me winning - it's Him. Always.

And that's also why I find no need to hate or despise lust. It's silly for me to make a stinking big deal about lust. If I 'get personal' with lust, I will surely take it on myself. I can't afford to. I'm not that stupid... any more. He's not my enemy any more, really. I just forward lust's whispers... to Hashem. He knows what to do with it. After all - He made it!

All I need to do today, is get the help I need to give it up. And the help I need is from my friends in recovery. I can't do this life by myself.

Hope this helps someone.