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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Waging War

How many battles did you fight today?

Did you fight fatigue in order to pry your eyes open this morning? Did you fight the traffic jam to navigate to work? Did you fight lethargy to focus on the tasks at hand? Did you fight the clock to meet your deadline? Did you fight your cravings to avoid unhealthy snacks and choose nourishing food?

Every day, every hour, every minute, we wage countless battles.

This week’s Torah portion begins by telling us about our battles and how to win them.

“When you go out to war on your enemies, the L‑rd your G‑d shall deliver them into your hands, and you shall capture from them captives.”

The Torah doesn’t write if you go out to war, but rather when. Turbulence and struggle are inevitable.

We fight character traits. We struggle to use our time wisely and develop our talents fully. We battle to protect loved ones from the harsh realities of our world and to create a better reality.

Here are 3 important things to know about your wars:

1. Your battles don’t define you.

The Hebrew phrase for "on your enemies" literally means "on top of your enemies." Just because we are constantly engaged in struggle doesn’t mean that we are defined by them. We win, and inevitably, we lose. Don’t focus on your losses; you are far more than your conflicts. You have a divine soul that is perfect in spite of your struggles. So just get back up, reenergized, and begin anew.

2. You are not fighting alone.

When your battles become oppressive, when your enemy gains the upper hand, you may need to take a step back and reevaluate. Affirm that there is no true existence other than G‑d. This means that nothing contrary to G‑d’s goodness and truth has any real power over you. Go to war with the optimistic confidence that "G‑d shall deliver them into your hands.”

3. You can grow from your experience.

“You shall capture from them captives.” Anything negative in man or in the world can be exploited for the good. You were exposed to your circumstances for a reason. “Capture captives” and find a lesson in every situation.

Wishing us all strength and victory in fighting our many battles!

Shabbat Shalom!

Candle Lighting Time (NYC): Friday, 7:21 PM


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