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News Item 328. Mishlei 18-10 (Strength)

 

A new segment 18-10 was added to the Mishlei section on Wednesday June 28. This contains two proverbs covering aspects of the concept of strength.

Why do we need strength? We turn to Hashem to grant us the strength to withstand threats to our safety and well-being. These threats include sickness, poverty, and people who seek to do us harm. We also need strength to overcome our internal weaknesses, such as jealousy and irrational hate.

Mishlei symbolizes strength as a tower, referred to as מִגְדַּל עֹז , a tower of strength. The tower is a metaphor for strength because we can readily visualize climbing a sturdy tower from which we can defend ourselves in times of danger. From the top of the tower we have a commanding view of the enemy, who finds it more difficult to strike us with his weapons. In military terms, the tower is a position of strength.
Another metaphor for strength is a walled city. The high fortified walls serve the same purpose as a tower and offer more space to shelter the people of a community and their possessions.
To whom do we turn to for strength? The righteous man calls upon the Name of Hashem for protection. The wealthy man looks to his accumulated wealth to insulate him from unexpected expenses and changing economic conditions. But how much of a cushion is enough? Is it ever enough?