MIGHT or BRIGHT

If your stereotype of a Jew is mild mannered Clark-Kent Cohen, you should have met Samson! What a shtarker (Yiddish for a strong and brave person)! A lion roared against him, and Samson tore him apart. With the jawbone of an ass, he slew a thousand Philistines. And unlike Samson, with the jawbone of an ass, many of our modern day politicians have proven incapable of accomplishing anything. Wouldn’t you like to know the secret of his strength?

SamsonHe was divinely blessed because of the special commitment his mother made to God that he would never drink wine or cut his hair. If his locks were sheared, his vow would be voided and his special gift revoked.

But because of the treachery of Delilah, Samson’s hair was cut while he slept, he was taken prisoner and was blinded by his jailers.

With all his physical prowess, Samson could not withstand the temptations of the “weaker sex.”

The sages of the Talmud would declare,”Who is strong? He who can control his desire.” And that is why brute strength was never so much a Jewish ideal as strength of character. Between might and bright, Jews invariably remember the story of Samson, and choose the latter.

From the book: Jewish History and Culture by Rabbi Benjamin Blech.


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