Lech Lecha 5769

Lech Lecha November 6, 2008 People like to be in control of their lives. They have their date books all planned out, their weeks scheduled and like to know what will be… But there are so many factors involved pertaining to the outside world (ranging from hurricanes, to a stopped sink, to a cancellation, to a surprise party, a new neighbor moves in, etc…) that at best we can choose to feel in control in response to whatever happens with a heaping spoonful of faith in our coffee every morning because in reality we really don’t know what will be. Every so often there are political changes on a wider sphere, economic changes on a global domain; here in Israel you never know if rockets will be falling on the south, if the Hizballah are planning to attack the north, if your car will be rocked on the way home from the dentist, or if your government is for you-or against you (and what they could do to you!!!) Belief in Hashem and knowing that He brings about the actualization of everything can indeed bring a sudden feeling of completeness in our lives even if we really don’t know what will be. We give credit to our first patriarch, Avraham Avinu for being the pioneer in faith, by being excited and emotionally charged by belief, being the first person to know G-d .Hashem says to Avraham, “Go to a Land that I will show you…” (Lech Lecha) The language being used here is in a future tense. Avraham doesn’t know what land, where it is, what it looks like, who lives there, or when he will arrive. He just follows the path there in pure and simple faith. Hashem commanded, he followed. All along his journey he is sure that Hashem will continue to direct him to his destiny. He feels connected in an uncomplicated way. When a person feels this connection to Hashem, as Avraham Avinu did without any tangles and snarls and intrigues along the way of his life, he feels fulfillment. This is called pure faith, or emunah temimah. “to a Land that I will show you…” , a person lacking the knowledge of what will be can use uncertainty as a vessel that he fills with the knowledge that Hashem has paved the road to his destiny and is always there guiding him, like the way Hashem guided Avraham Avinu. We live in a world of asiyah, the lower world where people are active participants in a world of deeds. We have to use our efforts to achieve our goals, as we see with the stories of the patriarchs and matriarchs. When a person reaches the level of emunah temimah, when he feels Hashem standing there right behind him- then he can move heaven and earth. How many times in the Torah are we witness to this? Hashem promises the Land, yet we have to conquer it. (Joshua) Hashem promises the Land, yet we have to purchase it (Abraham in Chevron, Jacob in Shechem, King David on the Temple Mount). Hashem promises the Land, yet we have to fight in wars (all of our husbands and sons here today in Israel). We do, Hashem does for us. And when we feel something lacking- then it’s time to pray and ask for G-d’s help. Shabbat Shalom Leah Goldsmith

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