Friday, May 20, 2022

Chagigah 14: Holy Chutzpah

 On this daf, we find that in the times before Moshiach, the young will speak brazenly to the elderly.

Rav Uri of Strelisk explains the special importance of holy brazenness in the times before Moshiach: “Although our sages say that chutzpah will be prevalent in the times before Moshiach, we need to channel this to holiness. Even if one is empty of Torah and good deeds, and lacks understanding and yirah, he should strengthen himself to say Pesukei Dezimra and the rest of davening with great intensity. Positive applications of our brazenness will be a great merit in times to come, since the main avodah of a Jew is hischazkus.”

The Chiddushei Harim makes a similar point regarding teshuvah: “We find in the Mishnah that one must be ‘bold as a leopard.’ Although a leopard is not so strong, its great advantage is that it is exceedingly bold. Even one who has been weakened by sin must be intrepid. He will surely be assisted to true repentance.”

Rav Tzadok Hakohein of Lublin similarly explains how things will change in the times before Moshiach: “After the sin of the spies, some Jews ascended to do battle and conquer Eretz Yisroel. Before they went, Moshe warned them, ‘This will not succeed.’ It is important that Moshe uses the word ‘v’hei – and this’—will not succeed. Our sages always explain this word as a way to exclude something. Moshe was saying that although this act of chutzpah was doomed, there will come a time when even pure chutzpah of the undeserving will work. This is our times, the period preceding Moshiach. Nowadays, holy chutzpah is a successful tactic that should be activated and used to the fullest” (Imrei Kodesh; Tzidkas Hatzaddik, 46).

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