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And who are you?

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

We tend to think of the remark "And who are you?" as a put-down or an insult that questions our worth.

The wonderful haftarah that we read this past Shabbat -- one of the seven haftarot of consolation read between Tisha B'Av and Rosh Hashanah -- suggests an opposite interpretation. Instead of being belittled, we are being uplifted and strengthened. "I, I am He who comforts you," God consoles the nation of Israel. And then He asks: "Who are you that you should fear humans who die, mortals who are like grass?"

"Who are you?" the Master of the universe asks Israel. Who are you that you should be afraid of people who are ultimately going to die and disappear like grass? Rashi comments as follows: "Who are you, daughter of tzadikim and full of merits, that you should fear those whose end is death."

The haftarot of these seven weeks console us, give us strength, and bring us to believe in ourselves. They remind us that "I, I am He who consoles you." Not to be afraid of challenges, changes, new beginnings, and those who belittle us since God is always with us.

In moments of weakness or distress, we can always ask, "And who are you?", yet not in a manner that minimizes us, but rather in a way that maximizes who we really are and what we can become, as asserted by God Himself.


ספר חדש לקוראים הצעירים ולכל המשפחה

"לגדול! 3", על תנועת החסידות ועלינו

להנחה - השתמשו בקוד קופון 3333

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