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Spiritual Tools-Zachor-Looking Up To the Tzaddik

“And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed over Amalek (Exodus 17:11).” “Were, then, the hands of Moses making war? But what the verse refers to is this: As long as the Children of Israel were looking upwards, they were victorious (Rosh Hashanah 29a).”


This means that they constantly contemplated ways to ascend higher, and as a result the learned men, the Tzaddikim of the generation, became important in their eyes for they longed to reach the Tzaddik’s level. And since within the Children of Israel itself, the head (Tzaddik) did not bow downward, therefore in the entirety of the nations too, Israel, which is called the “Head” of the nations, prevailed and subsequently ruled.

However, when within the Children of Israel the heads of the people were not held in esteem, so too in the totality of nations was Israel defeated.

And so it is always whenever Jews look upwards and heed the Torah and teachings of those who are above them, they are strengthened and cured, as the Rambam wrote, “Just as there are illnesses of the body so too there are sicknesses of the soul, and the scholars are the healers of the soul, providing they are obeyed, but when they are not obeyed the common people stagnate and suffer (Hilchot Dei’ot 2:1).”

True, they have a complaint. They do not heed the scholar, they say, because they have found in him some fault. The truth, however, is that even conceding they are right, the scholar’s fault is for their benefit, so that they have some common ground with him so he can raise them. (Toledot Yaakov Yosef, Bo)

Service-of-God-Machberes-Avodas-Hashem-ZachorReflect on the advantages of emulating the righteous when reciting the Blessing of the Righteous in the Amidah.

Service-of-God-Machberes-Avodas-Hashem-ZachorChoose a righteous person to whom you can look up and make a list of ways in which you can emulate him.

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