D’var Torah: Believing in Others – Believing in Ourselves
It probably has become apparent that I have fallen for the television show Ted Lasso. In the first episode, Rebecca, the owner of the team, gives Ted, the new coach, a tour. Rebecca tells Ted about the legend of ghosts haunting the soccer pitch, and then asks, “Do you believe in ghosts?” Ted answers, “I do, but more importantly, I believe they need to believe in themselves.”
At first blush, this seems like just a silly line. But, as I watched the show eight times through, it occurred to me that it was profound. It is great to have someone believe in you, but ultimately you have to believe in yourself. I think the point is that one greatly aids the other: when someone believes in you, it becomes easier to believe in yourself.
This is one of the key pieces of Camp Ramah’s magic. At camp, counselors believe in their campers’ potential; they encourage them to take challenges and risks and to move outside their comfort zones to go on a journey to become the best versions of themselves. This belief is incredibly empowering to the campers.
In this week’s Torah portion, God tells Moshe to appoint Joshua as his successor. God specifically instructs Moshe to put his “hand” upon Joshua in front of the people to symbolize the transfer of power. By doing so, Moshe not only symbolically transfers the official duties but also gives his own personal lessons and skills to Joshua. Moshe is showing that both he and God believe in Joshua. I have to believe this helped Joshua to believe in himself.
After sixteen months of pandemic, it is so great to see our children feel the power of being believed in – and use this to help them accomplish things that make them believe in themselves.