Parshas Lech Lecha 5783
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Part I. Avraham The One
Who, What, When?
וַיֹּאמֶר הַשֵּׁם אֶל אַבְרָם – And Hashem spoke to Avram, and He said, “לֶךְ לְךָ – I’ve chosen you for greatness and I want you now to leave your place and go to the place where I will show you.
Now there is a question some of the mefarshim here are busy with and that is: exactly when was this command given? Was it when Avraham was still a young man in Ur Kasdim or much later after he had already left Ur Kasdim with his father, Terach, and settled in Charan?
Now, it could be that both are true. We could say that already in Ur Kasdim the spirit of Hashem began beating in him, telling him, “Go, Go. Leave Ur Kasdim,” and so he and his father decided to heed the call of Hashem. And they went first to Charan on their way to Canaan.
But we note that the actual command, the prophecy, said “You should go אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ, to the land that I will show you,” and from Ur Kasdim Avraham did not go to Eretz Canaan; he went to Charan which is north of Canaan in a different land. And so it seems that the explicit command was only given after Avraham had been in Charan some time. Otherwise why would he get up from Charan and forsake his family and go to Eretz Canaan?
Hashem Doesn’t Speak To Everyone
And that means that Avraham Avinu was already an old man when Hashem first spoke to him in parshas Lech Lecha; he was someone with a long history behind him when the spirit of Hashem first appeared to him. That’s important to note. Avraham is already in his seventies when we are introduced to him.
Now from the time a person is born until he becomes seventy years old there are many things he can be occupied with. And we have reason to suspect that the things Avraham was busy with were of such a nature that they earned for him this distinction that finally Hashem should speak to him. After all, Hakodosh Boruch Hu doesn’t suddenly speak to a person for nothing. Even very great men didn’t merit such a thing. Hakodosh Boruch Hu never spoke to Yosef HaTzaddik, not once. He never spoke to Reuven or Shimon or Levi or Yehuda. The Torah doesn’t tell us anything about that. I’m not talking about other sources but it’s not in the Torah.
And so we have to say that there must have been a big preface. Something must have taken place during those years, great deeds that are not described in the Torah, and it is because of them, that’s why Hashem finally decided to speak to him.
The Stories We Were Told
Now, I’m sure that Avraham did very many good things and when we were still children we were told what our teachers thought were the most interesting ones. He broke his father’s idols and was thrown into a fire; other things too. And while those are true, it’s important to know that the one that stands out most, the one thing that more than anything else that earned him this distinction above all other men was that he became aware of the Borei. That was the background for all of these stories we know; the greatness of Avraham was that he believed in Hashem.
Now, that’s something that to us doesn’t seem to be very significant. After all, we believe too. Already from kindergarten we believe in Hashem – our cheder rebbe told us all about it – and so we’re not too excited when we hear about Avraham Avinu’s accomplishment.
The truth is that we don’t believe as much as we think we do but even if we did, you have to know that Avraham was especially great because he didn’t have that kindergarten teacher who spoke to him about Hakodosh Boruch Hu. And therefore, how a little boy, all on his own, achieved something like that is almost miraculous. Avraham had no beginning at all; he started out nowhere.
That’s what our Sages tell us; that he had no instructions at all. He didn’t have any teacher, no rebbe. And therefore it’s a good question: What happened? How did the little boy Avram become Avraham Avinu?
The answer is Avraham worked; even as a little boy Avraham looked around him and he saw on all sides testimonies, evidence, that proves clearly that everything was done by a Master Designer. בֶּן ג’ שָׁנִים הִכִּיר אֶת בּוֹרְאוֹ – He was only three years old and he was already seeing the Presence of Hashem in the world around him.
How did he recognize the Creator if nobody told him anything? The answer is he looked around. You know what he saw? He saw seeds blowing in the wind. Some seeds have wings on them. You ever see seeds with wings? Oh yes. Many seeds have wings. And the wind blows them and they fly up in the air and they travel miles. They can travel across the ocean. It’s wonderful. So when you look at the seeds and see the wings, the wings show you it’s made for a purpose. And therefore who made that purpose? Kevod malchuscha yomeiru, the seed declares the greatness of the Designer of infinite intelligence who made that. And inside of that little seed are packed in hundreds of thousands of bits of information, all necessary and functional.
And therefore when Avraham Avinu studied the world around him, he knew about a Borei. Whatever he saw in this world reinforced for him that he was looking directly at the handiwork of the Creator. On all sides he saw how Hakadosh Baruch Hu has made the world with wisdom and kindliness. A whole world.
The Remarkable Fly-Swatter
And Avraham never stopped looking. He did that not only once; he did it thousands of times. As a little boy he walked through the field and he said, “Look at the cow standing in the fields fertilizing the field. It eats grass and produces fertilizer; right under its tail it drops fertilizer. But from the fertilizer flies develop; all the fields are full of flies and the flies bite the cows. So the cow has a long tail and at the end of the tail there’s a little mop, a flyswatter, and it swishes from side to side all day long driving the flies off.”
Did you ever see a cow? I once sat and watched a cow for a long time. It was something special to see. All day long it was swishing, hitting its sides with its tail. Otherwise the flies would draw blood from the cow. And so the cow keeps protecting itself with a flyswatter provided by Hakodosh Boruch Hu. It was remarkable to see.
Avraham Avinu as a little boy began to see these things and he recognized the Creator from His creations. Avraham Avinu, wherever he looked, he saw purposefulness. He saw design. Tremendous design! Cunning design! Profound design!
Fools of National Geographic
Avraham wasn’t like someone who wrote a long article in the National Geographic and he was praising the infinite design that he sees in nature – infinite design, he said. Accidental infinite design! So I was thinking, “You shoteh! Don’t you see that infinite design means that there’s an Infinite Designer?”
But Avraham understood that it wasn’t an accident! Hakodosh Boruch Hu planned it so. “Everything is designed for the purpose of revealing the Designer,” Avraham concluded, “and therefore, I’m going to dedicate my life to seeing the Designer in all the phenomena of this world.”
Not only in the phenomena around him – in himself too! Avraham said, “Why is it when I need food, I’m hungry? Isn’t that a miracle? There’s some intelligent planning evident here, a very complicated form of intelligence, superior to any intelligence that we know today. Nobody is able to duplicate such a system! Why is it that when I need water, I’m thirsty?” Avraham began thinking about that.
Whenever he felt hungry – I won’t say this happened when he was three; maybe he was seven years old, maybe ten but there came a time when he said, “Look at this miracle of being hungry. Suppose I wasn’t hungry. Suppose I had to take a card out of my pocket and consult the card to see what I have to consume today to replace the materials that are used up in my body. I need so much starch, I need so much water, I need so much salt and so on.” What would a person do? He’d put it in his pocket and run out to play. Forget about the nutrition card; he has better things to do than eat. And the end would be, he’d drop dead in the street.
If people would live by cards that would inform them what they needed, they wouldn’t survive! But the world survives. And it’s because there’s a great intelligence that has foreseen all the needs of men, a tremendous intelligence that created hunger and tastes and satisfaction and satiation and all of a man’s needs.
Wonders Upon Wonders
Why is it that when a person has to evacuate himself, he has an urge to evacuate? Why should he have an urge to go to the bathroom? He shouldn’t have any urge at all! And if he has an urge to evacuate why shouldn’t it happen in his pants right away in the street?
No; he’s capable of containing himself. He has an urge and still he can contain himself. Isn’t that a remarkable thing? He has control! His mind says, “Hold!” וַיִּתְאַפַּק – he controls himself until he reaches a proper place!
It’s a marvelous thing! How did that happen? He knows he has to evacuate, he has an urge. The urge itself is a miracle! And then how does it happen that he can shut down on it, until he reaches the proper place? That’s a miracle upon a miracle! It’s not simple at all – it’s very complicated!
Chosen By The Owner
Avraham thought about these things all the time; when he was three years old and when he was seven years old and fifteen and twenty and thirty – he never stopped. And finally, one day when he was in his seventies, Hashem spoke to him. He had reached such a stage of clarity and he was saying, “I see Hashem! It’s exactly as if I was looking at him!” So Hashem said, “If that’s the case, then here I am.”
The Medrash (Rabbah 39:1) gives a mashal like this. A man passed a building and the building was illuminated and he saw everything was in order. He sees the building is in repair; the doors move on the hinges, there are windows that move up and down; he sees everything is working – somebody is in charge here.
So he’s thinking, “אֶפְשָׁר לַבִּירָה זוֹ לְלֹא מַנְהִיג – Can there be such a building without somebody who is in charge?” And the more he looks at the details the more he’s saying these words over and over again, “Who’s in charge? Somebody must be in charge!” And finally הֵצִיץ עָלָיו בַּעַל הַבִּירָה – The owner of the house put his head through the window and said, “Yes. Here I am. You guessed right.”
And that’s why Hashem, when Avraham was in his seventies, finally spoke to him: “Now you’re Mine. If you can discover Me in nature – and not only discover Me but to keep looking always and become more and more aware of My presence, then you’re the one I want. Because you’re for Me – seeing Me in the world around you means that you’re for Me – that’s why I want you to לֶךְ לְךָ, to get going; because I’ve chosen you to be the father of My people.”
Part II. Avraham The Great
Now, you shouldn’t imagine that such an achievement was simple at all. Because not only did Avraham not have teachers to help him but he was standing against the world. Avraham was born in Ur Kasdim which we know from excavations, that it was a city of idolatry, a city dedicated to moon worship. It was like an ir hakodesh of the tumah of idolatry. Everywhere, all over Ur Kasdim, there were temples to the moon. That we know today.
Now when you go to a place like that – you shouldn’t go of course – but let’s say you went to Lourdes in France where tens of thousands of people visit every year because they want to consult certain saints; they want dead saints to bless them and heal them.
A whole bubamaisah they invented out of nothing, and today people come to Lourdes from all over the world to get healed of their diseases. There were shakranim who said, “We came in with crutches into the shrine of the avodah zarah and there we received a blessing and we threw away the crutches and walked out well and healthy.” When you hear such things, it’s not easy to avoid falling under its sway.
Of course, it’s all sheker v’chazav. They don’t tell you about the vast majority that go there and come back just as crippled as they were before. And those people who throw away their crutches – if it ever happened – you have to know later they pick up the crutches again. No question about it. No question at all that any scientific investigation will show that the whole thing is a hoax. That’s all it is.
The Gullible Economy
But because of that propaganda, Lourdes became a holy city. And the locals make good use of that. They have all kinds of stores that sell religious articles; little booklets, prayer booklets, and necklaces, prayer necklaces, all kinds of trinkets. The locals there are making a decent living from the gullible masses.
And that’s what was doing in Ur Kasdim too. Avodah zarah businesses were thriving and Avraham Avinu’s father also had a shop like that; he sold avodah zarah idols, big ones and little ones, for all kinds of purposes. If you want to have children, there’s an idol of fertility. If you want to get rich, there’s an idol of wealth. All kinds of idols and each one had his specialty – with a special price tag of course.
Now sometimes Terach couldn’t be there all day long. He had to go sometimes to the place where they manufacture them, to order them, so Avraham was left in his shop, a little boy selling idols for his father.
A Terrible Salesman
But we know from our tradition that Avraham was a very poor salesman. Once a man came to buy an idol so he wanted an idol that’ll make him powerful and important. So Avraham said, “Well, here’s the biggest one I have. The tallest idol. Of course the price is the tallest price too. You can have it if you want.”
And so the man was considering.
Avraham said, “How old are you?”
“I am fifty years old.”
“This idol was made yesterday. It’s only two days old. You think it’s really going to help you?”
So the man left the idol on the counter and took his money and walked out on his heels.
Avraham didn’t earn any money and when his father came back and heard what had happened, I imagine he got a good slap, “You’re ruining my parnassah, you little upstart!”
Once an idol fell off the shelf and the nose came off. When his father came in, he said, “What’s this? What’s going on here?”
So Avraham said, “Look, if it cannot protect its nose from falling off then what kind of an idol is this? The wholesalers are not selling you good merchandise. The idols are no good.”
Voice of Nature
Now, it’s a pity that so many people remain all their lives with the simple stories of Avraham in his father’s store and they don’t understand what it means. You have to know that such stories only happened because of Avraham’s dedication to seeing Hashem in the world around him. That’s all he had! Until he heard these words “Lech Lecha”, that’s all he had – it was through nature that Hashem spoke to him.
But it was so clear to him, the Voice was so clear and loud, that nothing would stop him. And Avraham suffered terribly; not only from his father. Avraham became known to the authorities. A heretic; a little apikores boy. We have to realize how dangerous it was to be an apikores in those pious days where everybody believed in and worshiped avodah zarah. Wherever he went, he met the angry face of idolaters. Not only priests; the people, the masses despised him too. He was considered a fool, a wicked man, a heretic. They looked down on him. They spat on him in the street.
He was imprisoned. The Rambam in Hilchos Avodah Zarah brings from the Medrash that Avraham was imprisoned for years and years. He was almost put to death and then he had to conceal himself in the woods and the deserts for a long time until he escaped and went to a foreign country to save his life. Finally when the king had died, he came back again, but then the persecution continued.
Opposing The Regents
You know, it’s very difficult to withstand public disapproval. Sometimes it’s easier to jump into fire and lose one’s life in one moment rather than spend a long time walking in the street among your enemies; people spit on you, they look with hatred at you. That’s a very difficult nisayon.
Like today, let’s say, if a Jewish boy happens to be in college and he speaks up about Hashem creating the world, his teachers will fail him in all his courses. The Regents will say he’s not passing the evolution courses. He can’t graduate. And of course the ACLU will leap into action. They’ll bring court action against him for trying to bring religion into the schools. Apikorsus they could bring into the schools all they want, but they’ll fight tooth and nail that you shouldn’t even mention a Creator.
But Avraham resisted! Because once he saw Hashem with his own two eyes, nothing would stop him. And so the more he saw Hashem in the world around him, in the seeds and the cows and everything else, the more he resisted. Once he realized that there’s a Birah, and a Baal Habirah, that became his goal, to know more and more about the Palace Owner. And so he fought against a world that opposed him. “You can continue talking all you want about idols and shmidols but I’m going to continue looking at the world and seeing the handiwork of the Creator.”
Science and Aliens
And he became a genius, a scientist lehavdil: I have to say that because he became a real scientist. A scientist means somebody who knows, but the scientists today don’t know. All their science is for the purpose of covering up the truth.
Today they’re all organized to deceive mankind into atheism. And they’re spending tremendous sums of money to this end. With our tax money, by the way; NASA is taking our hard earned money with a proposition to look for life on other planets. It’s a pipe dream, a fantasy, but evolution means it happened by accident and if the accident could happen here it could happen on other worlds too; so let’s get in contact with all those worlds over there. It will cost us billions of dollars, of course, but why not? In order to prove atheism, anything is worthwhile. So while they’re spending our tax money to advance the cause of atheism, the world gets the idea, ein hachi nami, there may be worlds over there. There surely are if they’re spending so much money!
But Avraham laughed at that. Avraham saw the wisdom of Hashem, and he said, “Who cares what you ovdei avodah zarah say?!” and he proved it to the world with his logic. This boy, all by himself braved the disapproval of his community and that’s why, וּמָצָאתָ אֶת לְבָבוֹ נֶאֱמָן לְפָנֶיךָ – Hashem found that his heart was loyal. He didn’t budge from his principle that he discovered. Once he saw the truth that everything in the world testifies that there’s a Borei, nothing could cause him to weaken in his conviction that he was obligated to see that Borei in His creations.
Emunah Peshutah is Not Enough
Now this subject of how Avraham Avinu studied all his life to recognize Hakodosh Boruch Hu in the world is something that is necessary to emphasize because frum people today have the idea that it’s all superfluous. Today many believe, as some mistakenly tell them, that “all you need is emunah peshutah;” which means “just say ‘I believe’, and that’s enough”. More than that is not necessary; to be convinced any more than that is superfluous.
I had a certain talmid chochom by my table many years ago and I was talking to him about my favorite subject, the apple. I was telling him about how the peel of the apple reminds us of Hakodosh Boruch Hu. How could it be, a wrapper that protects the fruit and then when you want to eat the apple you can eat the wrapper along with the fruit. A neis! “It’s a remarkable thing,” I told him. He looked at me with an empty expression. A blank face! It means that even some talmidei chachomim don’t understand the importance of seeing Hashem in the world around us.
A Dedicated Life
But no matter, Avraham is our model; we want to accomplish more and more emunah, more and more perfection of the mind by seeing the Hand of Hashem around us. Of course today, after Matan Torah, seeing Hashem in the world around us is not the only way. There are other obligations too that are supposed to remind us about Hashem. We put on tefillin and think about Him. We have a mezuzos on our doors, and the mezuzah says, “Hashem is here.” We have kosher kitchens, milchig and fleishigs. Why do we do that? It costs a lot of money and trouble. It’s because there’s Hashem who commands us. When you learn Bava Kamma it’s because Hashemtold you that there are arba avos nezikin and you have to beware of injuring your fellowman’s property. Why do we love our fellow Jews? Because Hashem loves them. And why don’t we wear shaatnez? Because Hashem is looking.
The whole Torah, the whole life of a frum Jew, is a demonstration of Hashem’s presence. And so, we are not like the kadmonim before Matan Torah; we have specific functions, obligations, by which we increase our emunah.
But that’s not enough because everybody knows a certain statement, דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ קָדְמָה לַתּוֹרָה – derech eretz came before Torah. So people think it means good manners, maybe good middos too, come before Torah. It’s true, but it’s not enough. דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ קָדְמָה לַתּוֹרָה means anything that the human reason is capable of acquiring without matan Torah should be kodmah, before Torah. And so emunah, awareness of Hashem by means of His creations, is derech eretz. And therefore we should always remember: despite all the things that we do, the core and the heart of all our lives is to increase our awareness of Hashem by means of walking on the path that Avraham blazed of seeing Hashem in the world around us.
Part III. Avraham Our Father
That’s what the Mesillas Yesharim tells us in his sefer, in the Derech Eitz HaChayim; he says that from time to time a person should get together with himself – it means to spend some time alone with just your thoughts – and he should ask himself, “מָה עָשָׂה אַבְרָהָם שֶׁבּוֹ חָשַׁק הַשֵּׁם כָּל כָּךְ – What did Avraham do that Hashem loved him so much?” That’s a good question. “What did Avraham do that made Hashem love him so much? וְאֶעֱשֶׂה כֵּן גַּם אָנִי – and let me do the same.”
So now we know what we have to do. Avraham was the most original thinker the world ever saw; he was more aware of Hashem than anybody else. And the Rambam tells us that he made his great journey towards Hashem by studying all the phenomena around him. He studied the world around him and in every flower, every leaf, every plant, every fruit, every animal, every cloud, he saw plan and purpose. He saw that Hakodosh Boruch Hu had filled the world with wisdom in order to teach man to be Aware of Him.
And even though בֶּן שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים הִכִּיר אַבְרָהָם אֶת בּוֹרְאוֹ, even though already at the age of three he already recognized the presence of the Creator, as he grew older he became more and more keenly aware of Hashem’s presence until בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה הִכִּיר אֶת בּוֹרְאוֹ, at the age of forty he recognized the Creator again. It means that he didn’t desist from thinking; he continued making progress all his life. Not like people coming to a shmues, a lecture, and they are convinced, but they go home and forget all about it. Avraham took every advance that he made, and he intensified his awareness by doing more and more.
Seeing Hashem Everywhere
That’s why the Chovos Halevovos says that bechinah is one of the most important functions of our lives. Bechinah means looking at the world around you and seeing Hashem everywhere, the study of nature that we undertake in order to recognize the wisdom of Hashem and the kindliness of Hashem.
Now, you don’t need any books for that. The world is full of wisdom; all you have to do is open your eyes and you’ll be able to discover Hakodosh Boruch Hu like Avraham Avinu did. He didn’t go to the library. He looked at the world and he recognized Hakodosh Boruch Hu by means of his eyes and common sense without any textbooks or professors.
And everybody can do the same because the best source of bechinah is your own two eyes, your own common sense. The world is full of good things that testify to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. טוֹב יָצַר כָּבוֹד לִשְׁמוֹ – The Good One created all this glory for His name. הַכֹּל יוֹדוּךָ – Everything praises you, הַכֹּל יְשַׁבְּחוּךָ – everything increases the honor of Hashem. Only that you have to open your eyes. If you do, wherever you turn you’ll find food for thought for this subject of bechinah.
The Twig Scientist
You’re walking in the autumn now and as your feet are wading through the leaves, you’re kicking the leaves on the sidewalk. Isn’t that fun? You’re breathing the brisk fresh air of autumn and you’re seeing the beautiful colors of the leaves and you’re thinking, why do the leaves fall down?
So you say, “Well, it drops its leaves, that’s all.” Just like you drop something you’re carrying from the store. Naaah! You drop it because you’re a bumpkin, an oaf. But a tree drops leaves because it’s a scientist! A tree has to drop leaves with the utmost planning and precision!
You should know, inside that little twig, there’s a photo-timer, a clock. It’s a marvelous thing. There’s a clock inside of each twig and that clock measures the length of the day and as the sunlight becomes less and less, then the leaf goes into action and abscission cells are formed, certain cells that act like scissors, and they get busy cutting off the leaf.
But did the twig have any sense? Who made that photo-timer? And therefore, we see the yad Hashem in the leaves on the ground.
A Big Job
But this business of coming loose is only one of the great marvels – it’s one of ten million – of ten billion marvels and we have to study each one. Like it says שִׂיחוּ בְּכָל נִפְלְאוֹתָיו – speak about all of His wonders. There’s a big job in life.
You can look at a tree and say, “Why is it that on this tree, I look up and I see that the branches never grow one underneath another?” You never stopped to look at that, to think about it? You should use your eyes and see. Never does it happen in a tree that one branch grows directly underneath another branch! One branch is like this, underneath the branch goes in a different direction. Why is that? Because the tree is choosing an opportunity to get more sunlight for each branch, so the next branch shouldn’t be in the shade of the upper branch. Also to give more shade for the people below.
Get accustomed to that idea; train yourself to look at trees with that intention in mind – “I want to see this miracle.” All the trees you’ll ever see, will you ever find one branch directly under the other? No. Never! So you see the handiwork of Hashem. Hashem put into nature, into the tree, a wonderful system.
Now, once you start looking, there’s no end to what you’ll find. Even when you look at your own hands you’ll marvel at the arrangement of the joints on your fingers. When you bend your fingers inwards, do you feel any creaking of the bones as they rub against each other? No sound at all. A perfect design. It’s lubricated in such a way that the bones are not wearing each other out by friction.
And why is it that your fingers can only turn in and not out? That’s something to think about. Fingers can’t bend outwards, only this way, inwards. Isn’t that a remarkable thing? Because when you put a load on your fingers, if your fingers could bend the other way, it would drop down. But now you can hold your fingers stiff; it locks in place and it can’t turn in any direction except up. You study that and you begin to see wonders and wonders.
It’s a good thing to practice up every day; once a day choose something in nature to think about. One day was the trees, yesterday was your fingers, today you can think about your hair. Why is it that hair grows out of your head? What does the hair come from? Do you eat hair? It has to come from someplace. You eat bread and the bread is changed into hair. How does it happen? Look at your nice long beard or see women, girls with long hair. That’s hay. Where does hay come from? Hay grows out of the ground. The long hairs come out of the skin of the scalp. A long beard comes out of the skin of your face. How can the food that you eat turn into hair? It’s a miracle!
Did you ever think about that? This is food (the Rav touched his beard). It’s bread. It’s cheese. It’s chicken. Whatever you ate turned into hair. It sounds like a fable, a fairytale, but it’s chemistry. You can’t deny it. And so we see that Hakodosh Boruch Hu, the great Designer, was able to put food into your mouth and change it into all the necessary elements that the body requires.
And therefore, when we look anywhere we see the yad Hashem there is חָכְמָה עֲמֻקָּה שֶׁאֵין לוֹ קֵץ. It’s a wisdom that has no end and therefore it’s open for the whole world to see the yad Hashem.
A Cascade of Miracles
I’ll tell you one more thing. Yesterday I cut my finger; a little blood came out and then it stopped. Why does it stop? It seems simple; it stops, that’s all. It doesn’t have to stop. Suppose you have a bag full of water and you make a hole in the bag, will it stop? It’ll keep on going. The hole might even get bigger and bigger. So why is your finger cut different?
The procedure is called a cascade. A cascade means a number of procedures one following the other; and all so complicated and each one is essential! Every little detail is necessary and finally the blood stops coming. And it becomes caked and then the skin begins to regrow. And the regrowing of the skin over the wound is miracle of miracles! Cells and nerves have to reunite. It’s an operation that’s more complicated than putting up a skyscraper building!
Now if this seems to you an exaggeration. I’ll refer you to just one book by Behe, an expert on molecular biology, and he is amazed! He’s flabbergasted at the procedure of blood clotting! When he gets to it he says, “I don’t know who made it, but it didn’t make itself.”
And the world is full of more complicated things than that! And so, unless a person is a stubborn lunatic – it means, unless you’re an evolutionist – your eyes will open up and you’ll see Hashem in this world. Anyone can see Hashem the same way Avraham Avinu saw Hashem.
Grow Your Emunah
And the more you put into this great avodah of bechinah the more emunah you squeeze out of this world. It’s מְלֹא כָל הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדוֹ – the world is full of his glory. Wherever you look, you see His nissim and nifla’os everywhere; little by little it begins to enter our minds that יוֹדוּךְ הַשֵּׁם כָּל מַעֲשֶׂיךָ – Hashem all of your deeds praise you! All of your works praise you! כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתְךָ יֹאמֵרוּ – they are speaking of the glory of your kingdom! And what’s the purpose of it? לְהוֹדִיעַ לִבְנֵי הָאָדָם גְּבוּרֹתָיו – To make known to the children of man His mightiness. The purpose of everything is to let us come close to Hashem!
And we have to talk about it all the time to ourselves and to others! To marvel at it! Always to be excited! Never to be deadened by insensitivity because of habit! Never to listen to the foolishness of the world! Not to be stampeded by the herd of silly unthinking animals all around us! We must be stubborn in our clarity of logic and always remind ourselves of the nissim and nifla’os around us!
And those people who embark on this career in life are going to be rewarded in many ways. They’re going to gain a firmness of conviction that nothing in the world can shake. They become real maaminim and on that foundation of tangible emunah they can build their entire future career of happiness. It’s a happy world when you see Hashem all around you.
And in addition to that, Hakodosh Boruch Hu will say to you, “Because you strove to come close to Me in this world, to see Me as much as you could, I’m going to reward you when the time comes. Just like I chose Avraham to be Mine, I’ll choose you too, לַחֲזוֹת בְּנֹעַם הַשֵּׁם – you will gaze at the sweetness of the Shechinah and enjoy the splendor of seeing Me in Olam Habo.
Have A Wonderful Shabbos
Tapes: 384 – Career of Aspirations | 639 – Justify or Condemn | 640 – Abraham and Sarah | 935 – The Good Boy | E-254 – The Man That Changed The World
Let’s Get Practical
Seeing Hashem In This World
For decades, Avraham Avinu had no guide in serving Hashem but he learned about Hashem by applying his intellect to the wonders evident in the world around him. As the Mesillas Yesharim teaches, we must emulate the Avos and attempt to gain Hashem’s favor as they did. This week I will bli neder apply myself to the study of bechinah. For two minutes each day I will study something in the physical world and attempt to understand its source: where does wood come from? A tree? A seed? Where do shoes come from? Where does leather come from? the grass an animal eats? Every day for two minutes each day.