“I’m on it.”

Friday, 20 August, 2021 - 12:35 am

 “I’m on it.”

Many new expressions – in other words, slang ones – have been added to the Hebrew language in Israel during the years that I have been living abroad.

One of my favorite slang expressions is “Ani al zeh”, “I’m on it,” the emphasis being on al/on. Once upon a time, when someone wanted to say that he is taking care of something, he would say, “Zeh alai” – it’s on me. Today we say Ani al zeh. I think that’s better, closer to the truth.

Why? Because when a person comes to take care of something, be it a financial challenge or a managerial task, a medical treatment or an emotional process, he should approach it with his head held high, feeling that he will surely succeed. He should know that he’s coming from above, he’s on it. His chances of success will be in proportion to this attitude. On the other hand, if he says “Zeh alai” – meaning that a heavy load has been placed on his shoulders, he will approach the project bowed down. If he will feel inferior, and lack confidence or faith in his success, his chances of success will be in accordance with this.

“When you will go out to war against your enemies, and Hashem, your G-d, will deliver him into your hand...” The Chassidic explanation of this pasuk, which appears in our parasha, is the source for what I said above. There is no lack of wars, struggles or challenges in a person’s life, be they material, spiritual or both together. So the first pasuk in the parasha tells us that when you go out to war, you should go out with the clear knowledge and faith that you are “on” your enemies, and then, when you will feel such a momentum, victory is sure to come, as the pasuk continues: “and Hashem, your G-d, will deliver him into your hand.”

This Jewish faith-based logic is based on what Chazal say in Tractate Ketubot, “According to the camel is the load,” as Rashi explains, “A camel is loaded with burdens according to his strength.” In other words, when Hashem gives a person a challenge, a test, a journey, a project or some other hurdle, he gives that person the power to succeed. He will not place upon him or her a burden that cannot be borne. With such faith, whenever a person is facing a challenge, he knows he has the strength to deal with it. True – sometimes it’s a good idea to consult with others and to think how to make the best use of the existing strengths one has, but all that has to be done while realizing that “I am on it.”

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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