01 November 2011

Go, go....

In the weekly chapter "Lech Lecha",  we have the first commandment by G-d to the first Jew, Abraham: "Go away from your land, your native land, from your  father's house to a land that and I will show you." G-d commanded Abraham to leave everything, to sacrifice everything to do His will.  "Go away from the  land"  can be interpreted to mean -  forget your earthly desires, inclinations and habits and  going away "from your  homeland" - can mean freeing oneself from the conventions and customs of one's environment, "father's house" can mean - leave what  you were taught at home from the parents, to rise above conventions.  All this towards one end: "go away ... to a land that I will show you. " - Achieve full unity with the Almighty through self-sacrifice and devotion to His will.Abraham first recognized the existence of G-d at the age of three years and we know that he performed the commandments  even before they were given at Sinai 500 years later. However, to achieve a complete unity with God, he lacked the fulfillment of the commandment  of  going and leaving everything completely aside to sacrifice his desires for the sake of the Will of God.  This then is the mission of every Jew in this world.  Since the soul is in the body, the Jew follows  the laws of nature, he has built-in  tendencies and it is affected by his environment, but in spite of this,  every Jew has the strength to rise above himself and overcome limitations. Through the study of Torah and the commandments,  a Jew can spread the Divine in the world and thereby elevate it.Abraham fulfilled the mission and went, taking with him all  of his possessions. The full service of Abraham was that he fulfilled the commandment with his whole being so that even the members of  his household  and his belongings obeyed.

On the way to the Promised Land, Abraham took with him his nephew Lot, whose goals were completely opposite to the objectives of Abraham - "And Lot went away from the East," that is, in other words, he became distant from G-d ("East" in Hebrew, "Kedem"is related to  
one of the names of God - "Kadmon") and therefore we're told, he  "pitched his tents in Sodom." Lot lived in Sodom, a city of evildoers and sinners, but Abraham did not forget about him and constantly worried. This had a positive effect on Lot when he displayed self-sacrifice in giving shelter to travelers in Sodom, where it was  illegal.
Serving G-d  by Abraham  affected all around him, the whole world, even the lowest and the fallen part of it. The commandment to "Go ..." marked the beginning of a new kind of service of G-d, one that doesn't rely solely on the strength and abilities  of man. This type of serving G-d is based on the full commitment and desire to do everything to fulfill the Will of God.

Based on  Likutei Sichos, Vol. 5, pg
. 57-67

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