Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lech Lecha: Avraham and Emunah

by Rav Yaakov bar Nahman

Lekh Lekha 5952-5772

1 Now HaShem said unto Avram: 'Go out of your country, and leave your kindred, and your father's house, unto the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. 3 And I will bless them that bless you, and him that curses you will I curse; and by you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'

HaShem told Avram “Go west young man!” Well maybe not so young in our terms as he was already 75.

Where was Avram leaving and where was he going to?

In his youth Avram already began teaching people of belief in The One Eternal Ephemeral Lord of the universe. If you recall this greatly upset king Nimrod who had Avram tossed into a burning furnace for it. Much to Nimrod’s surprise, angels walked in and made a protection for teenage Avram who was then able to walk out unscathed.

This same king Nimrod was behind the construction of the Tower of Bavel. Some people never learn.

The word “nimrod” means “will rebel”. He was determined to rebel against HaShem at any price in every way. But in the end he got knocked off by one no purer than him, Avram/Avraham’s grandson Esauv.

HaShem eventually changed Avram’s name to Avraham. Avraham was and is the classic example of belief in HaShem and the spreading of that teaching in a pleasant “nonsectarian” manner.

In those days the only established religions were idolatries. Avraham’s teaching was simple with no infrastructure, no establishment. Believe in One. Believe that all that exists and all that occurs is by and through Him. From that a person can get to learning the 7 Noahhide laws, which again is not a structured religion establishment.

Belief, faith in The One Supreme Ephemeral power. Emunah……….

Opposite this was Nimrod, then Esauv, the examples of the antithesis of Avraham’s treachings.

As usual we can see points of the parshah in the current events. Here’s a few.

A Jerusalem court judge cancelled a police complaint against an Armenian priest who beat a Jewish yeshiva boy because the boy spit on the street several meters away from the priest. The boy said that he suffered from saliva buildup and had to spit, and anyhow it was far from the priest. The bleepedibleep priest claimed that he was insulted by it claiming he knew that Jews spit when they see a cross such as he had hanging on his cloak and the judge accepted his claim and justified the violent reaction of an “adult” against a child. By the way if it was the other way around, or a secular boy hit by a religious Jew for even worse you can be sure that this judge would have thrown the book at him. Especially since there is a law in Israel that forbids an adult beating a child for any reason and that judge ignored that law outright.

A few weeks ago someone burned a mosque in a Bedouin village in the Shomron region. There are no witnesses and there is no concrete evidence as to who did it. BUT immediate blame was thrown on Jews from Yisshar. Three arrests have been made, the young men thrown in jail deprived of sleep, interrogated (not gently at all) etc etc. In court the police were unable to provide any proof as to why they arrested the young men. The court told them off quite soundly for that. Last week the police burst into a yeshiva in Yisshar roaring like mad lions, throwing Holy books and students to the floor, spraying pepper fog in their faces and found no one to arrest. A few days later the outgoing manager of the department of education announced that among his last steps in office were to cancel the funding and licenses of two yeshivoth of Yisshar. When asked on what grounds the reply was “We received condemning information from the Shabak (Israel’s “FBI”)”. When asked to show what those accusations were so as to defend against them he replied, “It is secret information and may not be divulged even to the accused.” Where are we living in the KGB’s USSR?

Now one of the previous heads of the Mossad, a follower of the (in)famous “Iser” [Yisraei Harel shemoth resha’im yirkav] spoke out in a public interview saying the strict (ultra) orthodox are a greater danger to the existence of the state of Israel than Iran. What can be expected from one who was a “student and follow-up of ‘Iser’? That “Iser’ ordered the Mossad to let Mengele go free when they had him their hands in order to chase down Yosele Shumakher. Who was Yosele? His grandparents were observant Jews from Russia. His parents had become secular. The baby was a bother for them so they gave him to the grandparents to raise. Iser decided he wanted spies with a good cover in Russia and recruited the couple with the idea that they should convert to xtianity and take the baby with them back to Russia claiming they couldn’t stand the ways in Israel.

The grandfather got wind of the evil plan and disappeared with the kid. That put a monkey wrench in the works for Iser’s plan. He decided it was more important to use that plan that would take a Jewish child out of the Holy Land and out of Judaism and not choose another game plan, than to finally nail down the evil Mengele. He chased Yosele and his grandfather across the globe, ruined the old man’s health and life and caused the boy to grow up in a super secular Kibbutz. By the way, even after catching him, the mad chase got so much publicity that the plan to use the family as spies had to get scotched anyhow.

In another example, the state’s parole officer system is trying to shut down the operation of a yeshiva that has a program for pre-trial detainees to be in the yeshiva instead of jail. The parent agency of the parole officers has their own secular hostels for such men but [1] they are overloaded [2] they are all totally secular with their programs leaving zero time or opportunity for prayer or Torah study therefore unsuitable for anyone who desires to keep really kosher or Shabat or learn Torah. They are also expensive, 3 to 5 times the cost of what the yeshiva charges. The attempt to shut the operation is using lies exaggerations etc to do so.

Nimrod vs Avraham in our days.

But, as back then, sooner or later another someone or something will put an end to this Nimrod, just like Esauv did.

Back to ‘go”. Avram went on total belief. One can even say “blind belief”. After all no visible face, no material entity, just a voice telling him to go; and where to?; to some unspecified place for unspecified – everything – “I will tell you”.

“I will make a great nation out of you”. Sounds cool, got any proof. No. But Avram knew in his heart/soul that this voice could do what it said.

Nu, sure some great nation, thousands of years of being chased, hunted, murdered in single or massive murderers, libeled, exiled you name it. What’s so great about that?

I hear you. Now tell me, today where are all the “great” nations or empires who did the above to the Jews? Where is the great Egyptian empire, the great Selucid Empire, the great Babylonian Empire, The Great Roman Empire, The Great Invincible Moorish or Ottoman Empires, The Grand Spanish Empire and its conquistadors, The Undefeatable 3rd Reich, The Frightful USSR? And what about “The sun never sets on the British Empire”? They are all dusty pages in history books.

On the other side of greatness what nation has contributed more to the laws of morality and human coexistence than any other in the world, to medicine and other sciences than the Jews?

What is the key that keeps our little nation alive all these centuries?

Belief, belief in HaShem, in our time honored traditions, the renewal of cycle from year to year generation to generation. As our sages told "Shma b'nee mussar avicha, v'al titosh Torat eemecha" ["Hear, my son, the instruction of your father and don't forsake the teaching of your mother].

As long as this is followed we are eternal, we will remain when no other nation will. It is a manipulation of the primordial serpent, the Samekh Mem that is behind all the plans and actions against "Shma b'nee mussar avicha, v'al titosh Torat eemecha" "Hear, my son, the instruction of your father and don't forsake the teaching of your mother. For that ancient evil one FEARS US for we are THE ONE nation whose job it is to maintain and propagate to the world the belief in HaShem. We are in effect the Sa’M’s enemy and he is ours.

The main center of the millennia old battle is belief, Emunah-belief in HaShem.

Those who do so are HaShem’s commandoes in the eternal war for HaShem. Commandoes don’t have easy lives. But it is they who are doing HaShem’s work and it is they who will have the greatest joy when the Mashiahh arrives and finishes his job.

This Emunah is super important to Jews and gentiles alike and it includes indelibly the observance of the Missvoth, 613 for the Jews and 7 for the gentiles. Together = 620 – keter/crown; the Crown of HaShem.

Those who hang on tight to Emunah will enjoy the final coronation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

an inspiring lesson. esp on the nimrod of today. he exists everywhere.