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Parshat Va'era: The Perfection of Imperfection

Moses was a very imperfect leader. His adult life begins with one attempt to stand up to the taskmasters, followed by a 40 year detour of hiding out in the desert. While the Torah might consider him a “born leader,” he seems to think anything of himself but that. What do we make of this tension?

Similarly, in talking about our souls, the morning prayers begin with the words “God, the soul you have given me is pure,” meaning sufficient, good, able to face God, and not in need of fixing. And yet, the Psalms proclaim, “God is close to the broken-hearted” (34:19). So is God close to the pure souls, or to those who are broken?

Judaism answers with resounding Yes and Yes! The Midrash of Leviticus Rabba proclaims, “As human beings, we are often ashamed to use imperfect vessels. Not so with the Holy Blessed One. We are all broken, and we are all God’s vessels.”

This week’s challenge: How can you use whatever your current struggle, as a pivot, to help you see, appreciate, and contribute more goodness to the world?


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