Friday, October 15, 2010

לֶךְ לְךָ


From an e-mail received from David Friedman:

ויאמר ד׳ אל אברם לך לך מארצך וממולדתך ומבית אביך אל הארץ אשר אראך – “And Hashem said to Avram: Go for yourself from your land and from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you”.

One may think that if their father was a great tzadik, they were raised in a neighborhood of great tzadikim or they lived currently around tzadikim, then they would be much better people. Or the other way around, someone who has all the above may think that he doesn’t need to do much and may become complacent. Therefore the posuk teaches us לך לך- go to “yourself” because Hashem gives every individual the tools they need to reach their full potential. Reb Nosson of Breslov explains that going to "yourself" means to go to your neshama, which is all spiritual. The Ramchal in the first perek of Mesilas Yeshorim quotes from Koheles Rabbah that the neshama is completely spiritual and therefore can never be satisfied by material things. So, even if a Yid was raised in a completely not frum environment, he still has a lofty neshama and can reach the greatest heights. The brocha of she'osa li kol tzorki that we say every morning can also mean that Hashem gave us all that is necessary for us to reach our potential.

The posuk continues: מארצך – “From your land”. This teaches us to stop thinking that if we would live in a particular neighborhood we would be able to be much better people. Conversely, if one lives in a very “frum” area, it teaches to go away from an attitude of thinking that living there is enough.

וממולדתך – “From your birthplace”. This is telling us that we shouldn't think that had we been raised in a different neighborhood we would be better. Conversely, if we were raised among tzadikim we shouldn't think that we are better because of that.

ומבית אביך – “From your father’s house”. This teaches that we shouldn't think that if our father would have been great tzadik then we would be better people. If our father is a great tzadik, we shouldn't think that we can just rely on our yichus.

אל הארץ אשר אראך – “To the land that I will show you”. Hashem will guide us where to go. We can't change what happened in the past, but we can put in effort to improve the future. The main thing is for everyone to know that they can reach their greatest potential no matter where we come from and no matter where we live.

2 Comments:

At October 15, 2010 at 9:22:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a G-d blessed shabbat to you and yours. nice to see you back. a very inspiring lesson and much for me to learn from there. thanks. theresa

 
At October 17, 2010 at 10:20:00 AM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Great explaination. I'm just sorry I only read it on Sunday monring.

 

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