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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Gedolim Are Human


The-Shmuz

While this may stem from a noble motivation, it is false, and it brings with it a real danger. If a gadol is barely human, I can’t learn from him. After all, I am very human. I have ups and downs, moments of great inspiration and times of doubt and questions. I fall down and need to pick myself back up. If gedolim are perfect angels, what connection do they have to me? How can I learn from them?

This seems to be the answer to the question on Rashi. Avram was a human being. Granted, he was on a remarkable level of spirituality, but he was still a human with real feelings, real attachments, and real emotions. For him to leave his birthplace and his homeland was difficult. He grew up there. He had memories and connections there from most of his life. It was home. Was there a question in his mind about listening to Hashem? Certainly not. But each expression was an added dimension to the test because it made it somewhat more difficult, thereby increasing his reward.

Understanding that the Avos were genuine people with real feelings, goals, and aspirations allows us to understand that while they may have functioned on a different level than we do, they were people much like us. They suffered setbacks and had difficult moments, yet they became who they were because of their powerful commitments. This allows us to use them as guideposts for our own growth, allows us to look up to them for inspiration and motivation, recognizing that their lives were much like our own. We then see them as shining stars by which we can set our own path in life.

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