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A Historic Journey

Friday, 27 October, 2017 - 10:30 am

Abraham’s journey related in this week’s Torah portion changed the world forever. Had Abraham not embarked on his odyssey to the “land that I will show you,” we would not have a “promised land,” we would not have a Jewish people, we would not have Sinai, we would not have Judaism, (or Christianity & Islam), we would not have the principles stated in the Ten Commandments, which define the basic human rights that have become the bedrock of our modern democracies.

Imagine: A lonely journey by a single man (accompanied by a small group of people) taken 3747 years ago changed the entire course of history!

What was it about this journey that carried such potency? What can we learn from Abraham about our own journeys today? How can we ensure that our expeditions leave an indelible positive mark on our children & on generations to come?

Our Sages teach us that Abraham’s journey was far more than a geographical excursion. It was a transition from the comfort zones of self-absorption to the greatest heights of transcendence; a journey from the mortal to the immortal.

Abraham lived in a world absorbed with deep self-interest (sound familiar?) – a pagan world that was consumed with its own way of doing things. Nothing new – the way of all flesh, the natural inclination of man is to serve oneself. Abraham pioneered a new path. Resisting all pressures – rejecting all the influences of his life, his family, culture and community – Abraham searched for something true and eternal, something that transcends the subjective whims of man and transient forces of nature. A lone man pitted against an entire world, Abraham discovered the only true certainty in life: The absolute commitment to his Divine calling, to the mission for which he had been uniquely chosen.

Abraham was the first to take the journey. But not the last. G‑d’s call resounds through history as it beckons to each one of us – Abraham’s descendants and members of this Chosen People: Will we live a life driven by self-interests, or will we remain committed to our Divine calling.

May we continue in our forefather’s footsteps by committing to one more mitzvah this week. And in so doing we’ll conclude the journey that Abraham began by ushering in Moshiach right now!

Shabbat Shalom,

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