Don’t Be Crabby. Vote for Abby
Tamar Kanner had been sitting with her little sister Abby all morning, helping her prepare for the student council elections in her school. She had been helping Abby make campaign posters and preparing her speech. But the more she helped her sister, the more discouraged Abby seemed. By the time Tamar got around to reviewing the speech that Abby needed to give at the election assembly, she was staring down at her high top sneakers with a sullen expression on her face.
“How’s this one”
“Absolutely Abby. Vote for Abby Kanner.
“I guess it’s O.K.”
Kanner Can Do. Vote for Abby.
“O.K., Abigail Rachel Kanner, what gives?”
Abby looked up at her big sister with tears in her eyes. “Well, I’m just not sure I have what it takes to be student council president.”
“Why do you say that? You did a great job as your class representative to the student council last year.”
“That’s really no work at all. You just come to meetings and speak up once and a while. Being student council president is a serious job.”
“I suppose. But I know you can do it. I did it, and I’m not nearly as smart as you are.”
“That’s true. I am much smarter than you.”
“Just kidding. But let’s face it, Tamar, you’re a people person. You’re great at getting people to listen to you, and you’re super organized.”
“Yes, I am rather special.”
“I’m more quiet. I would rather be sitting in the corner with a book than leading other people. I have no idea why I decided to run for president. Unless of course it’s because you made me do it.”
“That is soooooo bogus. You wanted to do it. You came to me to help you.”
“I guess. I’m just not sure I can pull this off. I don’t know if I have what it takes.”
“Abby, you don’t have to be perfect to do this. It’s student council president, not President of the United States.”
“I just don’t think I can do it.”
“You know, this week’s parsha is Noach.”
“Oh no, I feel a classic Tamar pep speech coming on.”
“Just bear with me. At the beginning of parshat Noach, the chumash states, Noach ish tzadik, tamim haya bedorotav. Noah was a righteous man, a tzadik in his generation. Rashi offers two opinions as to what that means. Either Noah was a tzadik in his generation, but in a time when the world was not full of sinners he would have been even greater. Or Noah would only be considered a tzadik in his generation, but if he had been in the generation of Abraham he would have been just eh.”
“Really? Noah was ‘just eh’?”
“Stay with me, here. My point is that some thought Noah was great, and some thought he was nothing special. It really didn’t make a difference. When G-d called upon him and told him to build an ark and save the world, he did what he had to do. He didn’t question his qualifications. He didn’t check what other people thought of him, even Rashi. Noah had confidence in himself and did what G-d asked him to do.”
“So are you saying I should run for president even if I’m ‘just eh’?” Abby asked.
“No, I’m saying you should believe in yourself and have the self confidence to go out there and get the job done. Deep down you know that you can do it, so just do it.”
Abby smiled. “Good pep talk, Tamar. One of your best.”
“O.K., so I’ll go for it. Here, how’s this?” Abby grabbed a poster board and a marker, scribbled a message, and held it up to her sister.
Abs has got the abs. Vote for Abby.
“Maybe you should leave the posters up to me.”