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Section: Galus & Geula   Category: Galus
Parshas Noach: Rav Elyashiv - Superhuman Strength In Extraordinary Times

We've all have heard so many remarkable stories of incredible courage and mesiras nefesh during the Holocaust by people who were at best ordinary before it all started.  From where did these people get this strength?

The Medrash tells us on the pasuk "Vayisha'er Ach Noach" (Noach 7:23), that Noach came limping out of the teiva because he was bitten by the lion for arriving late with his food one day.  Rav Elyashiv says that the Medrash implies that this was a punishment to Noach for his tardiness in feeding the lion.  

How could this be asks Rav Elyashiv?  The Medrash relates how Shem the son of Noach described to Eliezer Eved Avrohom how they didn't sleep a wink during their year in the teiva because they spent their days and nights tending to the multitude of animals and catering to each one's individual diet.  Under these circumstances Noach was a hero for his superhuman effort.  How could he be blamed for being a few moments late on one occasion to the lion?

Rav Elyashiv answers that we see from here that during critical times the bar is raised, and far more is demanded of us than in regular times.  Rising to the occasion is not optional, it is mandatory.  Even if it takes effort that we don't have, if we don't we will be punished.

If so, then surely Hashem gives us the strength to rise to the occasion and pass our the difficult test facing us.  So to be superhuman in tough times is not superhuman after all, it is the new you, supercharged for the occasion.  Forget what you used to be capable of and don't let it go to waste in your shock.