Mordechai Drisdell - The Strength of Shimshon
We are approaching the final stretch of the year תשע"ט. We start to say Slichot this coming Motzei Shabbat in preparation for Rosh Hashana, it feels like the end of a marathon. As we reflect on this past year, we forget that we also need to finish off the year strong. We need to finish off strong just like we started. Just like at the end of a marathon we are grasping and praying for every last bit of strength, we need to do the same thing when it comes to the end of the year. We can see this lesson from the story of Shimshon.
The story of Shimshon starts off with his father Manoah, and Mother, who is left unnamed, childless. An angel comes to them and promises them a son, as long as he becomes a Nazir (a man who cannot drink wine or cut his hair) for Hashem. Manoah and his wife end up having a baby boy and he is named Shimshon. Shimshon becomes a leader/judge over Israel because of his warrior strength and prophetic abilities. Shimshon has a lifetime rivalry with the Plishtim. He then married Delilah, who is bribed by the Plishtim, to find the source of Shimshon's strength. After trial and error, Deliliah is finally able to convince Shimshon to tell her the source of his strength. The source was his hair, a sign of his Nazir status to Hashem, if he were to cut his hair, Hashem's Devine gift to him would leave. The Plishtim were told this information, captured Shimshon and cut his hair. Shimshon's warrior strength left him and he was put in jail, forced to grind grain. While in captivity his hair started to slowly grow back. The Plishtim made a celebration for capturing him and brought him out of captivity to mock him. Shimshon was leaning against two pillars, one in each hand, he cried out to Hashem "ה' זכרני נא וחזקני נא" -"God, remember me and strengthen me". Hashem had returned his strength, and Shimshon brought down the pillars on which the building leaned on, killing all the Plishtim inside.
We see from the story of Shimshon that even when it seems like we are down and out. We are out of energy and need any little bit of help, we can just cry out to Hashem "ה' זכרני נא וחזקני נא" -"God, remember me and strengthen me", and without a doubt he will answer us to give us the extra push we need. I hope we are all able to internalize this and Hashem shall answer our prayers. May we be able to have a strong end of the year and be able to carry it to the next.