Monday, 16 January 2012

From the Depths of She'ol

by GYE (See all authors)

The Pasuk says that the children of Korach didn't die. The Medrash says that as the children of Korach were falling into 'she'ol' they said to Hashem, "Hashem, it is known that Klal Yisrael won't achieve redemption until they 'hit bottom'. We have hit bottom, PLEASE SAVE US!" And Hashem replied, "You have won me, my sons. It is all in your hands. If you turn your hearts to Heaven you will be saved". And they turned their hearts to Hashem and Hashem lifted the ground up under them and they were saved. And from them came Shmuel Hanavi, the head of the Nevi'im. As Chana praised Hashem, "Morid sho'el vayo'al - (Hashem) takes down to she'ol and uplifts"...

What can we learn from this? That davka when we feel we "hit bottom", we have the ability to turn it all around and achieve personal redemption. When we recognize that we are in the depths of "she'ol" and turn our hearts to Hashem, He will uplift us.

But why indeed does it take "hitting bottom" to achieve redemption? Perhaps because it is at that point that we recognize CLEARLY that we have no one to rely on but Hashem. And that is what Hashem waits for us to feel--with our entire being.

If that's the reason, then it follows that if we want to avoid "hitting bottom" before being saved by Hashem, the eitza is to recognize already NOW that whatever success we have is not through our own strength, but because Hashem is helping us. We need to pour out our hearts to Hashem every day and say, "Hashem, I know I can't do this alone, please help me succeed today"...

Those who think they are "strong" never merit true personal redemption. Hashem doesn't desire "strength". He has enough powerful Malachim in Heaven. As the pasuk says, "Not in the strength of the horse does He desire.... (maybe because those who think they are strong on their own are no better than a horse)... [but rather] Hashem desires those who fear Him; those who hope to his salvation".