Leah’s Blog Parashat Shlach
ACQUIRING ISRAEL THROUGH LOOKING DEEPER
When the King of the Kahzars asked the Rabbi in the famous book, “The Kuzari” by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi, how he could describe what being Jewish was in a sentence, he answered, “I am the son of Abraham”. Interestingly of all ways to describe what being Jewish meant in that time of the Dark Ages (1139 CE), when the Crusades were ravaging Jewish communities everywhere and in Israel where only a remnant of Jews resided, instead of talking about the Exodus or Mount Sinai- he went back to the very beginning- to the first seed of Israel. Abraham, our first forefather who is the paradigm of stepping out of the comfort zone by changing his religion, his country of origin and his entire “old world” perspective, took an incredible risk to recognize the glory of one G-d. The Torah describes Abraham as always walking -“Lech Lecha” and running to serve guests- middat haChessed (the persona of lovingkindness). In fact Abraham walked the extra mile and his risks were in the sizeable part of the joy of DOING. Pro- active always, his call to action and living example helped those realize that G-d helps those who help themselves and that G-d is willing- but it’s up to you. His capacity for observing internal meanings from external places and times made him the first lighthouse of Israel. There is an idiomatic expression in Hebrew- “”מה שלא רואים מכאן רואים משם – “Things you see from here, you don’t see from there”. We know Abraham was the first person to be able to perceive Divine Providence albeit tested many times, and constantly taking risks into the unknown. He was the original parent who patiently passed over the attributes to Isaac and Jacob- as all of their stories are of blood sweat and tears, building the House of Israel, a nation that blesses all other nations on earth. Abraham is the story of our family, of our home.
Parshat Shlach is all about the capacity of observing, about the need for the continuation of the trait of Abraham who inherited the Land of Israel because he appraised her deep meaning in active meaningfulness. These great leaders, the spies, were unable to move physically out of the desert zone, they were mentally and spiritually stunted. Distorting the real mission of understanding Israel, they saw BIG fruit as BIG fears- not the opportunity to grow. Demanding Malchut without climbing up the rungs of the ladder of life in exertion, they were happy to live a life of static careless shortsightedness. Half- baked in the desert, their ability for Divine certainty remained restricted, not enabling them to see Kedushah in the nasty places too. R’Yehudah Halevi was able to recognize restoration almost a thousand years before it happened, when Israel was but a dry swamp of desolation. Now, at this very time- Israel has been revived miraculously. PINCH ME! The Crusades can never happen again. Things may look grim in Israel now yet we must take a deeper look as we realize every grapevine telling a story, every building standing tall, full of the scattered ones returned. This is the time many of us take risks by leaving our sheteyls and all familiar to us, leaving our families and friends to make aliyah. Here the ones living in the heartland, abandoned by the government, experience risk on a daily basis just traveling on the dangerous roads- because we see deeper, because we see Abraham, because we see home. The sin of the spies mimics the sin of the selling of Yosef – when the potential was potent but not recognized. In the end, Israel WILL be recognized as it collects all brothers and old-world perspectives change radically- THINGS WE SEE FROM HERE WILL ALSO BE SEEN FROM THERE! All nations will be blessed in her bringing TRUE SHALOM.
Shabbat Shalom dearest friends! Leah