Tuesday, October 30, 2007

how to tap into all one's hidden kochos

An approach to the parsha of Eliezer’s shlichus can he developed from a yesod the Shem m’Shmuel quotes from his father. In the middle of the episode of Yosef and his brothers, Yehudah offers to serve as an areiv to guarantee Binyamin’s return from Mitzrayim. Ya’akov agrees, but only if Yehudah agrees to take responsibility for anything which happens, no excuse even for “ones”. What was the point of this condition? If an “ones” happens, Yehudah’s couldn't do anything about it. Why cause Yehudah to sacrifice his olam haba and further suffer for events outside his control?

The Sm”S’s father answered that when there is no pressure to succeed, a person has an excuse to give up and throw in the towel at the first sign of problems. Every difficulty can become an excuse to drop the mission, any problem can be called "ones". But if a person is challenged to succeed, he will persist and somehow manage against the odds. President Kennedy in 1962 explained the goal of sending a man to the moon by saying, “We choose to go to the moon… and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills…” Working at easy things means never having to fail, but it also means never fully exercising one’s potential. When a person is forced to work at something hard he uncovers all kinds of hidden “kochos hanefesh” that can make the impossible into the doable.

If Yehudah was just charged with the task of being responsible for Binyanim, he still might not have felt under pressure because the excuse of “ones” always provided an out. But when charged with returning Binyamin, no excuses allowed, Yehudah knew he must rise to the challenge. The added responsibility served to bring out those hidden kochos that otherwise might have gone untapped and ensured that Yehudah would find a way to succeed.

So what about Eliezer’s mission?… I’m getting there : )


  1. I would very much appreciate an specific address for the Shem Mishmuel. I looked for it in Miketz and Vayigash and could not find it.

  2. It is in Chayei Sarah - I forgot what year and will have to double check.

  3. Anonymous1:59 AM

    Found it. Year 678. Yasher kochacho.