Question & Answer With Rabbi Tal Zwecker - Patience
A Simple Jew asks:
What role does patience play in our avodas Hashem?
Rabbi Tal Zwecker responds:
The Pele Yoetz discusses the virtue of patience and I saw that he specifically addressed patience as a form of avodas Hashem. While people generally think of avodah as davening, saying Tehillim, or performing specific mitzvos, the way we act at all times is a form of avodas Hashem. The Holy Baal Shem Tov stressed the idea many times that when a person is unable to learn or daven he should serve Hashem in the situation he finds himself. Specifically, in cases when one's temper may be tested by a spouse, child, co-worker, etc. In all these situations one must learn patience and how to guard oneself against exploding.
Sefer Chassidim #86 teaches ,"Before you speak, speech is your captive, after you have spoken you are its captive." Powerful words. The Talmud likewise teaches in Megillah 18a "A word's value is 1 selah, silence is worth double that." And, in Tractate Brachos 20a, a rabbi once saw a woman wearing immodest clothes and he confronted and embarrassed her. He was subsequently fined 400 zuz when it was revealed that she wasn't even Jewish and that he had accosted her for no reason. This woman's name was Matun which also means patience. The rabbi thus taught patience is worth 400 zuz.
When the High Priest Aharon lost his sons, the Torah says "veyidom Aharon" - Aharon was silent. Sometimes silence is louder than words. By accepting Hashem's judgments and decrees we demonstrate our faith in him. May Hashem strengthen us in Emunah and Savlanus.