Thursday, November 10, 2016

Mussar Drosha: Lech Licha

Mussar Drosha: Lech Licha:

This week’s parsha is Lech Licha, and so we will, B’Ezras Hashem, discuss a lot about Avraham Avinu.  He was, we are told, raised in totally idolatrous surroundings, yet discovered that there is One G-d, and only One G-d – Hashem!  He searched out Hashem, and found Him. 

It must have been pretty hard though, because nobody taught, or even tried to teach him about Hashem, He is Blessed.  Not only that, but everybody around him (basically) did not recognize Hashem, and they served idols.  Avraham Avinu would, the Midrash says, go around and say “Can it be that the world has no Master?” And so Hashem showed him that He is the Master.  Meaning that since he actually tried to find Hashem, He revealed Himself to him and brought him close. 

Now, for our own lives, there must be a great and valuable message we can take from this:  And indeed there is one that I would like to, B’Ezras Hashem, share with you:  We know that sometimes it might get sort of hard to feel Hashem.  But you know what; the Holy Torah promises us that if we search Him out with all our heart and Soul, we will find Him.  There are no two ways about it:  If you search out Hashem truly, you will find Him.  And so what we must do in those times is search Him out. 

Then, since He sees that we are actually trying to come close to Him, He will respond in kind and bring us close.  Hashem is always there and close; ready to accept everybody’s good deeds, Torah, etc.  But it is up to us whether we want to get closer, or by sinning, farther, Chas V’Shalom.  Hashem is always right here with us! 

But if we have this great opportunity – to come close and serve Him always; then why don’t we take advantage of it and do everything we are supposed to?  It must just be that we are too involved in ourselves to think about Hashem or do good things sometimes.  When we are only thinking about what we want, Rachmana Li’tzlan, we forget about Hashem and what He wants us to do!  So what can we do to stop ourselves from, Chas V’Shalom doing this? 

The answer can be found in a Chassidishe Vort on the start of this parsha:  Hashem told Avraham Avinu “Lech Licha” which can mean “Go, you”.  What is the ‘you’ part doing there? And this Chassidishe Master wants to say that the Torah is trying to tell us that we must go away from “ourselves”, so to speak.  Meaning that we must go away from only thinking about ourselves.[1] 

Having a selfish and self-centered mentality is very destructive and bad for our Avodas Hashem.  However, it seems to be the natural instinct of almost every single person.  But Hashem, in His Great Kindness has given every person the ability to uproot things from themselves that don’t belong there – such as this trait. 

So even though it might be hard, we can get rid of our selfishness and self-centeredness.  If we do that, then we can properly serve Hashem, the Most Blessed and come close to Him, with His Help, of course.  Then nothing will get in between us and Hashem, and we can truly serve Him properly and come close to Him. 

That is one of the very important things that we must do in our lives – stop caring so much about your will and think more about Hashem’s Holy Will.  And His Will is that we serve Him and do the right thing!  Not that we should, Chas V’Shalom, let ourselves get in between us and Hashem.  The Torah tells us to serve Hashem, not to serve ourselves!! 

And, actually, if you think about it, it really doesn’t make any sense for a person’s self to get in the way of them and Hashem.  Who created you and gives you life?  Who gives you another breath of life around every single second?  Who lets you wake up and puts your Soul back into you every morning, refreshed and ready to go?  Hashem, His Name is Blessed!  He gives you your very self and lets you live.  Thinking about this concept can really help with getting rid of our selfishness. 

The world is not about us fulfilling our desires, Chas V’Shalom.  It is about us serving Hashem and coming close to Him.  And we cannot do that properly if we are too much into thinking about our desires.  May Hashem help every single person to get rid of their selfishness and truly search Him out and come close to Him forever, Amein vi’Amein. 
Have a wonderful, wonderful Shabbos!! 

Refoel Berel

[1] From  Chassidic Gems:  Parashat Lech Lecha.  Shiur given by Rebbe Elyakim Rosenblatt shlita.

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