Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Re-Binding

When David Brooks' article, "A Long Obedience," was printed erev Pesach, I really should have linked it then. But erev Shavuos is not too late. 

What was amazing about Moshe, he notes, is not that he freed us. He released us from bondage, yes, but promptly re-bound us again, where we have stayed for millennia. By binding himself, he became the ultimate binder, through anivus: 
Leaders in the ancient world, like leaders today, tried to project an image of pompous majesty and mastery. But Moses was to exemplify the quality of “anivut.” Anivut, Rabbi Norman Lamm once wrote, “means a soft answer to a harsh challenge; silence in the face of abuse; graciousness when receiving honor; dignity in response to humiliation; restraint in the presence of provocation; forbearance and quiet calm when confronted with calumny and carping criticism.
I want to paper that to every wall on earth.