Have you ever taken a challenge for yourself?

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INSIGHT OUT By Adina Morris

Have you ever taken a challenge for yourself? So, last week I did. I have been researching Tanach for the last year in preparation for writing a book. Yes, I know, that is a challenge in and of itself! But that is not the challenge I refer to. The challenge I gave myself was in one week to write a worthy piece as a guest blog on another site based on my research from the last year. So as many things go, I waited until Thursday to sit down and get to work. It was a slow work day and raining outside, so no walk:( However, rain is a blessing too, and indeed it was as I was able to finally sit down undisturbed, review my research and write the blog.

I ended up writing a piece that was way too long for the blog, yet great for my book!  so I edited it again and again until it was just the right size. I am still putting the finishing touches on it, but I hope to get the courage up to submit it this week in time for Shavuos.

You see the topic of my blog piece is Rus. Why Rus you may ask? Well, I find Rus to be quite fascinating. She is not like the other heroines we read about in Tanach and in the Megillos. She was not a prophetess, she did not come from a long line of Jewish heroes and heroines. In fact she was a convert who came to find G-d and Judaism as a poor, forsaken widow. She led her life by doing what was right in the face of strife and challenge. She succeeded with flying colors. As we know, she became the great great grandmother of King David and ensured the birth of the Davidic Dynasty and therefore the coming of the long awaited for Mashiach! May He come speedily in our days, Amen! What I find amazing is in the very fact that of all the women we learn about, we are most like Rus in her lack of direct guidance from above. She did not have anyone to help her make the right choices nor did she have anyone telling her the right thing to do.

Similar to Rus’ predicament, although not exactly, we live in a time where we have no King and no Prophet who have the ability to commune with G-d in the way our ancestors had in ancient times. Rus not only went out of her comfort zone and was able to do the right thing, but she was able to bring the Mashiach with her actions. She didn’t know that her actions would bring Mashiach, but she did them because she knew them to be right and just. Her moral compass was alive and well; guiding her in a dark time.

So what does this have to do with my blog challenge? Well, in addition to writing my blog, I emerged feeling the challenge for myself to be more like Rus this week. I don’t know if I succeeded as well as she did. In fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. However, I have gained a new awareness of the moments that perhaps I could stretch myself to be more like Rus. I am challenging myself to be like Rus. It is indeed way easier said, or written, than done. And I am the first to admit that. But that is no excuse not to try. I don’t need to be a queen or prophetess to succeed. Rus wasn’t either although she was a princess in Moav. She turned to G-d and Judaism and the Torah as her guiding light. She was a simple woman with exemplary deeds. She is someone to strive to be like.

So as I finish off my blog challenge, I challenge you too! Be more Rus like! As we usher in the holiday of Shavuos and the giving of the Torah, let us all do our best to fulfill the Mitzvos as Hashem intended us to and challenge ourselves to go beyond our comfort zone and strive to be like Rus! Perhaps with our efforts, we too will merit the bringing of Mashiach!