Life has many challenges and the road we take to get through life isn’t always as smooth as we would like.
At times things seem so dark that we aren’t sure what to do or where to turn. But we are never alone, and if we just look up to Hashem and look back at our roots, we will always know what is expected of us. And we will see the direction of the light.
This week’s portion of the Torah reading is Lech Lecha.
The parsha tells us of Avraham our forefather, who was the first leader of the entire Jewish nation, although the nation wasn’t born just yet. We learn how G-d tells Avraham to leave his land, his nation and all that is common to him, and venture out to a land that G-d will show him, and there he will become great.
G-d also adds the letter “Hey” the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, to Avram’s name changing it to Avra’H’am. The letter “Hey” in Hebrew also stands for Hashem’s name.
There are many events that take place in this week’s Torah reading, yet I have chosen these two to focus in on.
The literal translation of the words Lech Lecha in Hebrew means go for yourself.
The commentaries say that Hashem promises Avraham that this move will be for his benefit. There is a great message in these words ‘for yourself.’
At times when we are told by our parents or our superiors to do a certain act, we might think or feel that we are doing it for them; out of respect, or perhaps to make them feel good. However, we know that all we do, in essence, in this world is, in effect, for us. Even if we are the greatest charity donors, or the greatest Rabbis or teachers, when we give or do to others, we are giving to ourselves.
Avraham’s leaving all that he knew behind, was a great act of true faith. At the time leaving everything he was accustomed to behind, and going into the unknown, didn’t feel like he was doing it for himself, rather that he was listening to Hashem and trusting him that all would be alright. And still this act was to benefit Avraham even though he couldn’t see how at the time. This act of blind faith leads G-d to add the letter that stands for Hashem’s name to Avraham’s name. Telling him that, and strengthening him that Hashem would be with him where ever he goes.
These two points; one of this true belief, and listening to G-d, and the other, having G-d present with us at all times, are the guiding steps and foundation of our entire work here in this world.
Avraham had the merit of actually hearing G-d telling him what He wanted Avraham to do. Although we are the descendants of our great father Avraham, we hear Hashem’s messages in a different way. Yet Hashem talks to each and every one of us daily. We talk to Hashem through our prayers and through the words we use when we speak to him in our own language. But how do we hear Him? How do we know when G-d is sending us a message or asking us to do something which in turn will be good for us? How do we exercise our blind faith to Hashem? And last and most important, how do we feel Hashem’s presence with us at all times?
The first thing we must realize is that indeed we are all walking in the footsteps of our fathers. Each and every one of us is part of Am Israel, and we are made up of many souls and many missions that we are expected to fulfill.
When we interact with the people that surround us in our daily lives and activities, we are constantly receiving messages from Hashem of what it is we are meant to do.
If a person needs a helping hand, or a good word, these are messages of what is expected of us to do. If we get upset and want to lash out in anger and hurt others, it’s our job to try and control our emotions and respond in a respectful manner. These examples and many more are all G-d speaking with us. These messages are all around and in every corner of our being. It’s our job to see and feel what we must do.
Knowing that G-d is present with us at all times and that we all have that extra letter “Hey” so to speak, added to our names, we will always remember that G-d is with us at all times and we will always “hear” when Hashem is “speaking” to us and be able to do the right thing.
May we merit all the good and wonderful gifts our great-great-grandfather Avraham received by following Hashem with such great faith and may we feel G-d within us at all times.