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21.10.2013 16:41    Comments: 0    Categories: Weekly Parashah      Tags: parasha  torah  lech lecha  sfat emet  

Michal Bitton notes on Reb Aryeh Glaberson Sfat Emet class

I wanted to share what I learned from Reb Aryeh Glaberson yesterday (Sfat Emet class):
In parshat lech lecha, Hashem says to Avraham, “Lech Lecha Meartzecha… to the land I will show you”. 
A couple questions on this passuk:
1) why did Hashem not tell Avraham where he was taking him at the onset, why keep it a secret and just say “to the land that I will show you”?
2) Why say “from your land”, why not name the country or place that Avraham will be leaving behind?

The Sfat Emet writes something simple yet beautiful and deep, a message which really resonated with me and did as well for many pple in the class. He says that the reason Hashem didn’t reveal to Avraham that it was to Eretz Yisrael that He was taking him is because that is precisely what E”Y is, an unknown. The question is actually the answer itself! And it has to be this way, that is the beauty, the mystery and the glory of Israel and the fundamental element that separates it from all the other lands of the world.

By that the Sfat Emet means to say that going to Israel = accepting the unknown, it is throwing away that which you thought you had planned for yourself and your life and saying, I want to be led by Hashem’s will, even if I don’t know where it will take me, or if I don’t understand it, how it will work at the moment or if it doesn't make any sense to me. It is in essence the nullification of personal will, personal sechel and understanding for the sake of what Hashem wants. And the pasuk purposely says “meartzecha” from your land, and does not name the actual country that Avraham is leaving behind, because the message is, it doesn’t matter what the actual country was, it could have been Syria, Poland, wherever. The message applies for any country and any time and it is: leave your “eretz” behind, your earthliness behind, your superficiality, and come to a land where I (Hashem) will show you who you are really meant to be. 
Only once a person is willing to throw away his own attachment to the mundane and to his perception of himself (herself) in the world and demonstrates the courage to embrace the unknown, even if it’s hard to accept and do (which it was for Avraham), only then, will Hashem reveal His ratzon for that person in this world . 

That was the first time in history that a human demonstrated this capacity of bitul (nullification) and which will later on be demonstrated again when am Yisrael say “Naassei Venishma”. That is the midah that created the nation am yisrael, a nation of leaders (the very same quality of David Hamelech). It is the ability to be a “machar” so to speak, to have accomplished in the world and to drop it for the will of Hashem, not knowing where it will take you. And if you say, but Noach also demonstrated that quality, well, not really. Even though Noach followed Hashem’s commandment, Hashem told him precisely what will be, so there was no element of accepting the unknown. It was not a surprise. He knew he was building an ark to save himself and his family from a mabul and why there was going to be a mabul. He also didn’t have any followers so he was not a “macher” like Avraham was. Avraham on the other hand had many followers, he was a leader in his town and then Hashem says, drop everything and come to the land that I will show you.

This land, E”Y is unique precisely because of this quality of bitul for the unknown, accepting that we don’t know what will be or even possibly who we are, but we know we are being led and we accept Hashem’s will for us. It’s a land of blatant hashgacha pratit, where Hashem takes you by the hand every step of the way. It is the best way to live and the most meaningful way to live. No other land in the world is saturated with such Hashgacha.



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