Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Lech Lecha 5632 First Ma'amar

... לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ/Leave your country, your birth place and your father’s house for the land that I will show you.” (Breishis 12:1) Why did God not reveal the land to Avraham Avinu immediately? The reason, according to the Midrash, was to make the task more precious to him and to give him a reward for each step that he took to get there.[1]

Coming to the land of Israel represents a quest to understand and achieve God’s will. We can understand God’s will by subordinating our own to His. We show God that we want to subordinate our own will to His by being willing to sacrifice all to see His will. This is the lesson we learn from Avraham Avinu. He had such a burning desire to know God’s will that he was ready to leave everything he knew behind him to pursue it. When he did this, God’s will revealed to him.

We learn an important principal from Avraham Avinu. Many times God’s will is beyond our ken. We do not understand what God wants from us. We do not understand why things happen to us. We find it difficult to leave behind that which we understand, know and are comfortable with to delve into uncharted territory. However, if we express our desire to understand by always being open to hear and accept God’s will even at the expense of suppressing our own, even if it is beyond our current understanding and knowledge, it will be revealed to us. This is clear from a pasuk in Tehillim (45:11), “שִׁמְעִי בַת וּרְאִי וְהַטִּי אָזְנֵך וְשִׁכְחִי עַמֵּךְ וּבֵית אָבִיךְ/Listen daughter and see and incline your ear and forget your nation and your father’s house.” An attitude of openness and acceptance, a mode of listening, seeing and hearing even at the expense of current understanding and knowledge, is needed. This open attitude of acceptance of that which is beyond our grasp is the prerequisite for understanding God’s will.
[1] Breishis R. 39:9


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Moshe David Tokayer said...

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