Low self-esteem is a very real issue today. It affects virtually every aspect of our lives. Parents and educators seek ways to build the self-esteem of their children and students. Fathers and mothers comfort children with low self-esteem; teachers confront students who lash out because of confidence issues. Adults themselves fill voids of self-worth with gadgets and toys, and often with more destructive activity.
Ten of the twelve scouts whom Moses sent into the Promised Land to reconnoiter the area reported that they saw themselves as “little grasshoppers” and the inhabitants of the land as “giants.”
The Midrash wonders why they did not see themselves as angels, as divine messengers on a holy mission? Why did the spies see themselves as lowly bugs? What did they lack in self-esteem?
The mystics explain: When one lives in one’s own head, one concocts all kinds of illusions. The antidote to this is action.
A story with a twist, involving a dialogue between a homeless boxer and a lovesick young man, knocks this message right home, into our promised homeland! And reveals for us the lessons of this Parsha on how to build self-esteem today.
Today, more than ever, we are in need of a strong self-esteem, especially as Jews, and specifically as we reel from the latest tragic loss of Hallel Yafa Ariel, murdered by a terrorist in her bed in Chevron…