Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/rafael88/rivertonmussar.org/plugins/system/nonumberelements/helpers/parameters.php on line 130
the model of adaptability
middot adaptability besorah the model of adaptability

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/rafael88/rivertonmussar.org/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 445

the model of adaptability

Written by  rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-for1mileIt is rather incredible to think of all the ways in which God “adapts”  in order for us to perceive and know him. He provides us with different modes of communication and interaction over time as he watches us change.

Yeshua himself might be the most remarkable occurrence of God’s radical adaptability to meet us in our situation. If we want a model for adaptability in its fullest balance, we needn’t look any further than Yeshua himself. At the same time, Yeshua also revealed to us the responsibility to radically adapt ourselves:

“…I say to you, do not retaliate against the wicked person. To the one who strikes you upon the right cheek, turn the other as well. If someone wants to quarrel with you and take your tunic, give him your cloak as well. If someone forces you to walk a mil with him on the road, go with him two. If someone asks of you, give it to him, and if one comes to borrow from you, do not turn his face away from you…Therefore, be complete, just as your Father who is in heaven is complete.”

Mattai 5:39─42;48, DHE

Yeshua’s very presence was an example of “turning the other cheek” and “walking the extra mile,” and he asks the same of us.

It is worth noting that adaptability is not described here in terms of altering one’s own values. Yeshua never encouraged people to alter their moral standards to be able to relate to others. He did encourage people to alter their need to be perceived as better than others. He might have partied with the am ha’aretz but he certainly wasn’t encouraging lewdness, violence, robbery, etc.  He was just refusing to be so rude as to avoid contact with people.  The key is that adaptability enables one to relate and interact with as many people possible without losing one’s values.

Adaptability also doesn’t mean changing so you will look better, per se. It is a good idea to dress nicely for special occasions, but one needn’t adopt the full character of a social group just for the sake of fitting in.  In other words, adaptability should not push honesty out the door.

Adaptability can too often turn into (or appear to turn into), hypocrisy and/or dishonesty. Nevertheless, we are called to be radically adaptable while still walking a very fine line to maintain integrity. I think the key is in following Yeshua’s example and teaching even when it seems like too much of a stretch. He met us this far…He will be with us along the way.

The model of adaptability

Benjamin Ehrenfeld

      It is rather incredible to think of all the ways in which God “adapts”  in order for us to perceive and know him. He provides us with different modes of communication and interaction over time as he watches us change. Yeshua himself might be the most remarkable occurrence of God’s radical adaptability to meet us in our situation. If we want a model for adaptability in its fullest balance, we needn’t look any further than Yeshua himself. At the same time, Yeshua also revealed to us the responsibility to radically adapt ourselves:

“…I say to you, do not retaliate against the wicked person. To the one who strikes you upon the right cheek, turn the other as well. If someone wants to quarrel with you and take your tunic, give him your cloak as well. If someone forces you to walk a mil with him on the road, go with him two. If someone asks of you, give it to him, and if one comes to borrow from you, do not turn his face away from you…Therefore, be complete, just as your Father who is in heaven is complete.”

Mattai 5:39─42;48, DHE 

      Yeshua’s very presence was an example of “turning the other cheek” and “walking the extra mile,” and he asks the same of us.

      It is worth noting that adaptability is not described here in terms of altering one’s own values. Yeshua never encouraged people to alter their moral standards to be able to relate to others. He did encourage people to alter their need to be perceived as better than others. He might have partied with the am ha’aretz but he certainly wasn’t encouraging lewdness, violence, robbery, etc.  He was just refusing to be so prude as to avoid contact with people.  The key is that adaptability enables one to relate and interact with as many people possible without losing one’s values.

      Adaptability also doesn’t mean changing so you will look better, per se. It is a good idea to dress nicely for special occasions, but one needn’t adopt the full character of a social group just for the sake of fitting in. I might dress in my best suit for a fundraising dinner, but I won’t pretend to empathize with the woes of finding a good landscaper. In other words, adaptability should not push honesty out the door.

      Adaptability can too often turn into (or appear to turn into), hypocrisy and/or dishonesty. Nevertheless, we are called to be radically adaptable while still walking a very fine line to maintain integrity. I think the key is in following Yeshua’s example and teaching even when it seems like too much of a stretch. He met us this far…He will be with us along the way. 

The model of adaptability

Benjamin Ehrenfeld

It is rather incredible to think of all the ways in which God “adapts”  in order for us to perceive and know him. He provides us with different modes of communication and interaction over time as he watches us change. Yeshua himself might be the most remarkable occurrence of God’s radical adaptability to meet us in our situation. If we want a model for adaptability in its fullest balance, we needn’t look any further than Yeshua himself. At the same time, Yeshua also revealed to us the responsibility to radically adapt ourselves:

“…I say to you, do not retaliate against the wicked person. To the one who strikes you upon the right cheek, turn the other as well. If someone wants to quarrel with you and take your tunic, give him your cloak as well. If someone forces you to walk a mil with him on the road, go with him two. If someone asks of you, give it to him, and if one comes to borrow from you, do not turn his face away from you…Therefore, be complete, just as your Father who is in heaven is complete.”

Mattai 5:39─42;48, DHE

Yeshua’s very presence was an example of “turning the other cheek” and “walking the extra mile,” and he asks the same of us.

It is worth noting that adaptability is not described here in terms of altering one’s own values. Yeshua never encouraged people to alter their moral standards to be able to relate to others. He did encourage people to alter their need to be perceived as better than others. He might have partied with the am ha’aretz but he certainly wasn’t encouraging lewdness, violence, robbery, etc.  He was just refusing to be so prude as to avoid contact with people.  The key is that adaptability enables one to relate and interact with as many people possible without losing one’s values.

Adaptability also doesn’t mean changing so you will look better, per se. It is a good idea to dress nicely for special occasions, but one needn’t adopt the full character of a social group just for the sake of fitting in. I might dress in my best suit for a fundraising dinner, but I won’t pretend to empathize with the woes of finding a good landscaper. In other words, adaptability should not push honesty out the door.

Adaptability can too often turn into (or appear to turn into), hypocrisy and/or dishonesty. Nevertheless, we are called to be radically adaptable while still walking a very fine line to maintain integrity. I think the key is in following Yeshua’s example and teaching even when it seems like too much of a stretch. He met us this far…He will be with us along the way.
Rate this item
(4 votes)
More in this category: age and adaptability »

this week


Moshe Rabbenu teaches loving-kindness
Here's a drash on loving-kindness adapted from my book Creation to Completion, wh . . .
chesed and truth
For the Torah was given through Moshe; chesed and truth came through Yeshua the M . . .
chesed and forgiveness
In his commentaries in both the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur Koren Machzorim Rabbi . . .
how the world stands
A woman died and left no money to pay for her funeral. She was an inhabitant of o . . .
His chesed is always there!
One of the high points of the Passover Seder every year, especially when our ki . . .
do a chesed
There was an older gentleman I used to to interact with fairly regularly at a Ra . . .
bottled up kindness
'The kindnesses of the Lord I shall sing forever; to generation after generation . . .
showering chesed
The Hebrew word for loving-kindness is chesed.    . . .

Member Login

Login to access podcasts, special content, discussion forums and user blogs.