Filed under: PARSHA LECH LECHA
UPDATED July 26 2016
Lech Lecha Bs”d
In the 1948th year after creation of Adam, Avraham our forefather was born. According to our Sages in Midrash, Rabbah Barashet Avraham came to recognize God when he was 48 years old. When he was fifty-two years of age the first two thousand years of “Tohu” (Chaos) of the earth’s existence come to their conclusion. In 1948 of the secular calendar, The State of Israel was declared. This is not a coincidence !
Avraham was the first to know the God. Nimrod and others knew there were angels , supernal forces , spirits but Avraham was the first to know that there was one supreme being over all of them.
Bilam, Lavan, Pharaoh, Sanheriv, Nebuchadnezzar and later the Greeks had different beliefs but there was one common idea all of them believed that being that the Creator Himself is a unapproachable authority removed from this world. This is why Pharaoh could not believe when Moshe said that the God Himself spoke to him. Every one only believed it was only possible to communicate or worship lower powers like angels. in charge of various forces of nature, or angels in charge of various nations. Abraham and his family and eventually the Hebrew people were the first to claim that God Himself can be worshiped. People of the Nations never heard of such a think and could not even understand such a “radical” idea so the nations rejected this claim.
Avraham is the chariot, conduit to the sefirah of Chesed (loving kindness). Chesed is the first revelation of the Light in this world. The first and basis for the emotional sefirot, which are the vessel for Divine intellect. According to our emotions which result in our actions are we able to perceive. The Zohar explains ” אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, בְּ הִ בָּרְאָם ” that the word ” בְּ הִ בָּרְאָם ” means “when they were created” has the same letters as ” בְאַבְרָהָם “ (in Avraham). The “tikun” fixing of the world begins Chesed which is in the merit of Avraham. We need to open the upper gates for the Supernal Light to flow into our lives, by acting like Avraham, practicing unconditional love and sharing.
After GOD told Avraham that his decedents shall be as the stars of the sky its said that he had Faith in GOD and it was counted for him as Righteousness. This contains an important lesson. As the mitler Rebbe said peace unto him, Emuna (faith) is the Yesod (foundation-gateway of energy) of every Mitzvah. Or as the Maharall of Prague explains in Givurot GOD that it is a Jew’s faith which sustains him in all his endeavors. Or as we can learn out from our verse ” He had faith in Yhv”h and it was counted to him as Righteousness”. The Zohar tells us that sedek (Righteousness) is Yesod (foundation-gateway of energy). Yesod being as a gate allowing varying degrees of revelation. The degree is determined by the extent of ones emuna . It is through this that we can be as the Malbim understands the Jewish people ”a mighty force”. Meaning for the revelation of GOD’s light in the world.
In our parsha we see Melchizedek chose Abram to be his successor, ordaining Abram to be a “kohen” (priest) as he was. Abram thus became the heir of what some call the Melchizedekian Priesthood. Abram passed this priesthood down to Isaac by his patriarchal blessing, he passed it on to Jacob, who in turn gave it to all twelve of his sons. Thus the entire nation of Israel became Melchizedekian priests. This was confirmed at Mt. Sinai when God called the nation of Israel a “Kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6). The sons of Aharon were later chosen to serve as the priests to Israel, as Israel serves as priests to the nations of the world. Thus on Succot Israel offers 70 oxen, one for each nation of the world on Succot.
Thus has Israel been ordained by God, to bring to the nations the message of God’s revelation at Mt. Sinai and the message of the Bible. This is what Isaiah means when God says through him “I will make you a light to the nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth.” (49:6)
Being as Avraham foresaw when seeing the heifer, goat and ram were divided in half when a thick darkness fell, a smoking furnace and a torch of fire passed between them dividing them. The smoke and fire being emissaries of the Shechinah. The darkness and fire being the same which was revealed at Sinai. This act of dividing the 2 carcasses is a pact demonstrating that 2 parties are a one. Through the cloud, smoke and fire. The Chuchmah of GOD’s Torah. At Sinai there was cloud, smoke and fire as its written :
“These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice which was not heard again. And he wrote them in two tablets of stone, and delivered them to me.” (deut 19:5)
“And Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount trembled greatly.”(ex18:19)
We also see a covenant made in a cloud after the flood as its written :
“I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth.” ( 13:9Gen)
We also see the cloud, smoke and fire as GOD’s force in the Desert as its written :
“ And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night” (ex 21:13)
It was these forces that protected Yisrael and led the Egyptians to destruction as its written:
“And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these; so that the one came not near the other all the night. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked to the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and brought confusion to the army of the Egyptians,”(20-24:14Ex)
We also see the mystery of the cloud, smoke and fire as GOD’s force in :
“And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came from the north, a great cloud, and a fire flaring up, and a brightness was around it, out of its midst, as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. And everyone had four faces, and everyone had four wings.” (Ezek 4-6:1)
This is the Mystery of the Markava (chariot). The deepest of secrets.
Only because of this oneness created through our covenant with GOD are we compared to the stars through which GOD guides mazel the providence of creation. So too, each of us continue to take part in the creation which is continual. It is up to us whether Mashiach will come to us because of our great suffering in wars, or He will show his glory miraculously to the world without Yisrael needing to suffer at all.
A way of revealing this oneness revealing the shechinah hastening the Mashiach’s arrival is shown by Melchizedek king of Shalem who brought forth bread and wine and then blessed Avraham in the name of GOD maker of the Heaven and earth. This is similar to what we do every Shobot when we have bread on our table and we make a blessing on wine in Kidush in the name of GOD remembering the work of creation. The future is set in motion with Avraham’s decedents promised the land of Israel, and their nature as said before will be a mighty force. While the decedents of Yishmoyal (the Arab states) are given their blessing ” And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him” (16:12). This makes it clear that our Arab neighbors are not a people that GOD has blessed with the quality of being a cooperative, brotherly, understanding, compassionate people of peace. But their nature is quite the opposite. Violence being a major role of theirs in the world. It is from this understanding that we should deal with them. If he is blessed by GOD to be a maniac can we hate what GOD has intended him to be ?. Should we hate the mentally ill if their disposition is violent ?. Or should they be cured of their mental illness. One though should never be fooled by Yishmoyal’s facade if he talks as a peaceful people. It is clear that our Arab neighbors are not people that GOD has blessed with the quality of being a cooperative, brotherly, understanding, compassionate people of peace. But their nature is quite the opposite. Violence being a major role of theirs in the world. It is from this understanding that we should deal with them. But violence is best avoided we should seek peace first. Violence is only a last resort. Abraham saw that Ishmael was wicked and had incurred the death penalty for serving idols, he prayed that “ only Ishmael would live before You,”hoping he would repent. And so it was, that Ishmael indeed repented, as is known.
In this weeks parsha we find a clear proof of the Divine origin of Torah.It really shows the prophetic nature of Torah clearly.It is written in the Torah :
“You are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son. You will call him Yishmael, because God has heard your affliction. He will be a wild man, and his hand will be against everyone, and the hand of everyone against him. Yet, he will dwell over all of his brothers.” (Bereishis 16:11-12)
Does this not describe the the Arabs, the descendants of Yishmael well :
“A wild man, and his hand will be against everyone, and the hand of everyone against him.”
Concider this, Even those who wish to deny the Divine origin of Torah, have to agree that the Torah is at least 2,000 years old.
After all, Christianity, which is over 2,000 years old, based itself upon the Torah, which they call the “Old Testament,” and they had no problem believing that the Torah was given by God to the Jewish people.
However, 2,000 years ago, the Arab world had yet to really become a nation, and Islam did not yet exist. It would take another 600 years for the Arab world to create a religion of their own, and even longer to become bold enough to try and export their religion to the rest of the world. Any prophecies the Torah made about Yishmael and his descendants were recorded long before it was clear to anyone what kind of people Yishmael would become, and how he would eventually affect the world.
NOW THIS IS A AMAZING proof of the Divine origin of Torah. It really shows the prophetic nature of Torah, AS WHO WOULD KNOW 2000 YEARS AGO ?
Furthermore to make predictions about the descendants of Yishmael, is a make-or-break issue, as if the prediction proved wrong the Bible would have been thrown in the garbage heap of history. No Human author would have taken such a risk.
The king that Abraham fought who came from the east named Araphel was none other than Nimrod. The evil ruler who tried to kill Avraham by forcing him into a furnace. Here he came as King Araphel, problems at time don’t just go away they may just change the way they appear to be.
As GOD said to Avraham ”I will give of you to the nations”. The Hamak Hadavar explains this as meaning that you will be a teacher of wisdom to the nations. Concerning the words ” Kings shall come from you” the Hamak Hadavar explains Kings will come from the decedents of Avraham who will suppress the idolatry of the nations” May we see this completely realized with the arrival of the King know as Mashiach quickly in our days