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"Avram the Hero?"

10/17/2018 01:52:23 PM


Rabbi Reuben Israel Abraham, CDR, CHC, USN (ret)

In this week's Torah reading, Parashat Lech Lecha, we find HaShem's "calling" for Avraham to leave the land of his birth and his father's household and journey to the land that HaShem will show him.  The Mishnah (Pirkei Avot 5:3) states that Avraham Avinu, Abraham our Father, passed all ten nisyonot (tests/challenges) that were posed to him by HaShem.  The command of "Lech Lecha" was one of those nisyonot.  An even more important test is one which we will read about found in next week's parashah: "Akeidat Yitzchak," the Binding of Isaac.  Rav Simcha Zissel Broide, the Rosh Yeshivah of Chevron Yeshiva, tells us that there are two types nisyonot: one that defines who we are and one that we face on a day-to-day basis.  When you face a big nisayon that may involve serious self-sacrifice, you can often reach deep down and find the courage and determination to make the proper decision and do the right thing.  But there are also those "little" nisyonot that you face each and every day that do not require such strength and fortitude.  Such, says Rav Broide, is the nisayon of "Lech Lecha."

 A "Lech Lecha" nisayon is having to decide whether or not to get up in time for morning minyan.  It's coming home from work exhausted and deciding whether to learn with your child or grandchild and help with homework or sit in front of the T.V. or computer.  While no one classifies such nisyonot as those which define a moment in one's life, they are nevertheless vitally important in life.  HaShem told Avraham Avinu that his reward for undertaking the nisayon of "Lech Lecha"would be wealth and offspring upon his arrival in Eretz Yisrael.  Did he get his "just desserts?"  No, he did not.  Instead he encountered severe famine, a famine which caused him to go down to Egypt in order to survive.  It is because he accepted this nisayon without question, without comment, without protest that Avraham Avinu becomes a hero.

A "Lech Lecha" nisayon deals with the issues of everyday life, issues such as health, childrearing, and financial problems.  There is no glamor, there is no excitement in dealing with these types of issues, but they are no less challenging.  And while the "Akeidat Yitzchak" type of nisayon is more noteworthy because it stands out from the rest, the true indication of how heroic a person is may indeed be how one deals with the many daily "Lech Lecha" nisyonot that are handled with faith and trust in HaShem.  May all of us become true heroes each and every day of our lives.

Wed, August 21 2019 20 Av 5779