Perashat Ki Tesse
If a man will have a wayward and rebellious son... (Debarim. 21:18)
The "Rebellious son" is one who repeatedly steals money to purchase meat and wine and consumes it in a disgusting manner. He is brought to Bet Din, the Jewish Court and is subject to capital punishment. According to one opinion in the Gemara the case of the "rebellious son" never happened and never will happen, since in practice the detailed requirements derived from the verses are never fulfilled.
If so, why did Hashem find it necessary to place this portion in the Torah?
The death penalty imposed on the rebellious son is not because of the gravity of his sins, but because his behavior demonstrates that he will degenerate into a monstrous human being for whom there is no hope. The Torah is teaching us that a person for whom there is no hope will never exist. If you were created, and you exist, then you can become great!
The problem is that we may fall and convince ourselves that we are failures. If we try something a few times and it doesn't go, we then believe that we can't be successful. But the truth is the exact opposite. Shelomo Hamelech wrote, "A righteous person falls seven times, yet rises again." (Mishlei 24:16) The uninformed assume that the meaning is that greatness can be achieved despite experiencing an occasional stumble; however, the wise know that the verse's intention is to instruct us that the very path to greatness is solely attained by stumbling and then rising. Stumbling is not a sign of failure but rather an opportunity for greatness. Each time you fall know that you're one step closer to becoming great!
Rabbi Isaac Farhi