Your community is running a fundraiser but you’ve never made fundraising calls before. Your synagogue needs a minyan but you are often late. A sick person down the block needs a visitor but you don’t know what to say. What if you mess up? We’re tired from our week and not on our A-game. How can we be helpful?
In Parshat Chukas, Moshe brings his B-game. He is tired and angry, and hits the rock instead of speaking to it. That wasn’t Moshe’s best moment. Yet for the community, it was everything they needed – the water sprang forth anyway and the people and animals could drink.
HaShem knows we are imperfect, but in return for sustenance and blessing HaShem only asks us to continue showing up. On an individual level, we should strive to increase our capacity and HaShem takes Moshe to task for that. On a communal level, however, the miracle – Water from a rock! – is still performed despite Moshe’s imperfection.
We ought not let our fears of imperfection get in the way of our service to our communities. The B’nei Yisrael is made up of many, many imperfect individuals who show up to be of service consistently, even when they are not their best. In this time of exhaustion, let’s make sure to take it easy on ourselves and take comfort in the knowledge that our B-Game is more than enough.
This essay is part of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah’s weekly parsha wisdom. Each week, graduates and students of YCT share their thoughts on the parsha, refracted through the lens of their rabbinates and the people they are serving, with all of us.