The Secret of Real Strength

Yaakov, from GYE, shares some thoughts on what it means to build a Mishkan in our own hearts and tap in to the eternal strength of the Jewish people.

by Yaakov from GYE (See all authors)

The Secret of Real Strength

Hashem made an interesting world, The greatest secret of strength and winning is admitting that we can't, and giving it over to Hashem. (And this is the underlying secret of the power of the 12-Steps in helping addicts stop acting-out). If Kings would know this secret, they would succeed in conquering the world!

Avraham Avinu gave the world away to Hashem as it says, הרימותי ידי אל ה’ קונה שמים וארץ, and that is why he was able to beat the 4 Kings.

Dovid Hamelech was zoche to the true מלכות that will last forever, davka because he knew this secret. He had nothing of himself. מלכות comes from יהודה, which is Hashem’s name, and a daled in the middle which the sefarim say symbolizes דלית ליה מגרמיה כלום.

And every Jew is called a Yehudi for this reason. We are an 'עם נושע בה - we have nothing of our own. And davka for that reason we are the eternal people who can’t be destroyed by the greatest armies and people… When we know that Hashem is the source of all power, we tap into that power and get a new power. קווי ה’ יחליפו כח

Addicts are lucky in this sense, because they were FORCED to learn this secret. They had no choice. But once they learn to give it all away to the One who has all strength, they merit tapping in to this Heavenly strength and see miracles.


This past Shabbos we read about hakamas hamishkan. And we’re now in the שבעת ימי המילואים. The idea of the mishkan is making a place in our hearts for Hashem. That is the core of the 12-Step program, bringing Gd into our lives. And when we do that, He helps even the lowest of the low, and He does for us what we can’t do ourselves. As it says: אני ה' השוכן אתם בתוך טומאתם

Rashi brings a beautiful Medrash Tanchuma to this effect in last week’s Parsha. When Moshe tried to lift up the Mishkan he saw that the Krashim weighed far too much, and he said to Hashem: “How can this be lifted by a man?” Answered Hakadosh Baruch Hu, “You do with your hands as if you’re lifting it, and it will lift up on its own”. As the Pasuk says: הוקם המשכן, which means "it was stood up".


The main three elements that the Yidden brought to the Mishkan were זהב וכסף ונחושת.

זהב = צבע של אש, מרמז על אש ההתלהבות - Enthusiasm

כסף = כיסופין - Yearning

נחושת = נחישות - Determination

To succeed in making a Mishkan in our hearts, we need to bring our own enthusiasm, yearning, and determination. But that is all we can do. כל נדיב לב - we can give our hearts. But we can’t actually make the Mishkan. We need to recognize that, and then Hashem will do it for us.


ולא יכול משה לבוא אל אהל מועד מפני אשר שכן עליו ה' וכבוד ה' מלא את המשכן

Perhaps the pasuk is hinting that when Gd fills our hearts - our personal Mishkan, there is no room for the “Self” at all. Moshe's "self" couldn't even enter. And this is the ideal state of course. But, as long as the Cloud of Glory fills our Mishkan, we stay put.

ובהעלות הענן מעל המשכן יסעו בני ישראל בכל מסעיהם

At times the Cloud of Glory lifts away from us, and we feel disconnected, we have falls, we feel low, but that is how we make progress. When that happens, Hashem has decided it's time for us to move ON. As it says: ואם לא יעלה הענן ולא יסעו… עד יום העלתו


In previous generations, Hashem’s presence was revealed through great tzadikim, but before Moshiach comes, Hashem’s power is being revealed in the lowest places, davka through those who struggle with the darkest forces and who have no choice but to give it over to Hashem. And when Hashem helps those who “can’t”, His strength and greatness is revealed in the lowest places and in the highest ways. And that is the job of the generation before Moshiach.

Hakamas Hamishkan, making a place for Hashem in our lives, this happened on this coming Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Nissan is exactly 3,329 years to the day. As it says: “On the first day of the first month of the second year of leaving Mitzrayim”.

May we merit to make our hearts a dwelling place for Gd, and be vessels of His will in the world.