Vayelech: Infinite Willpower

People do not lack strength; they lack will.  -Victor Hugo

The Talmud states that everything is in the hands of God except for the fear of God. This is translated to mean that we have free will. God controls everything in the world, every atom, every molecule, every action, every consequence. There is only one tiny corner of existence over which God does not exercise His Omnipotence. That is over our capacity to decide. We are born with the innate possibility to choose between good and evil. We have the human gift of electing to do the right thing or not to do the right thing.

The Sfat Emet in 5634 (1874) elaborates further on the topic. He mentions that we cannot accomplish anything without divine support. However, what we bring to the mix, the extent of our efforts, is that we need to bring our own “will” or “desire” to the table, along with what he calls an “awakening”. Presumably he is referring to some inner spiritual impetus, some realization of what we need to do, of what the right decision and subsequent action needs to be.

He expands even more and states that when we submit our “will/desire” and “awakening” for public benefit, there is nothing that God likes more.  He cherishes when we use our will, our faculties, our resources for public good. The probability of success is enhanced when we depart from selfish motivations and look out for a greater good.

May we harness our unlimited willpower for good.

Shabbat Shalom and Chatima Tova,

Ben-Tzion

Dedication

To the leadership of Macabi Tzair for so seriously bringing Torah into their Latin American conference.

About the Author
Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and a candidate for the Knesset for the Zehut party. He is the author of three books of Biblical Fiction and hundreds of articles and stories dealing with biblical themes. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
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