There is a secret weapon that we Jews possess. It is not our brains, though there’s that too. It’s not our survival instinct, though that can’t be discounted. It’s not our business acumen, though that can’t be discredited. It’s not our innate ethical code, our emphasis on family, education, and a higher calling. Those are all indeed secret, or not-so-secret, weapons. The secret weapon, however, of which we speak here, is something many of us are unaware of, and that is:
The Book of Psalms – known in Hebrew as Sefer Tehillim, which means “Book of Praises.”
Our mothers and grandmothers – and fathers and grandfathers as well – both in times of crisis and in good times, during the High Holidays and on regular days – would silently and solemnly read the Psalms continuously.
It is our secret weapon because its song and poetry remind us of our inherent oneness with G-d.
And the articulation of this concept began with our forefather, Jacob.
This heartfelt idea is demonstrated in a story about the Baal Shem Tov and his disciples. And in a story about an opera singer and an old Jew.