Accepting Hashem's Decrees by Rabbi Yosef Grossman

Volume 2


      This week's Parsha opens with Hashem telling Avram Avinu that he should leave his country and his birthplace and his father's house, and go to the land that he will be shown.  In commenting on the words לך לך, Rashi explains that the extra word  לך shows that Hashem was telling Avram that his journey would be "להנאחך ולטובחך," for his own benefit and advantage, because only over there, in the land where He was sending him, would he merit all of the blessings which he was entitled to.

      Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l, in hisדרש משה , asks why this was considered one of the ten tests undergone by Avraham.  Every day, we see people who travel far away from their families to distant places even when they are in doubt as to whether or not they are going to land a successful business opportunity.  Here Avram was certain, as promised by Hashem, that by going to this far away land he would become very successful.  Why then is it considered so meritorious that Avram decided to listen to Hashem?

      An important message of Sefer Bereishis is the idea thatמעשה אבות סימן לבנים , what our ancestors did represents a sign for their children.  On a simple level, this means that we today must learn from Avraham to accept whatever Hashem metes out to us without asking questions.  The Gemara in Chulin (דף ז:) says that a person doesn't even stub his toe in this world unless it was so decreed in heaven.  We must realize that there is a good reason for everything which takes place in this world, whether we understand it fully or not, and we therefore must accept our lot whether it seems fair or not.  If we can learn this lesson and incorporate it into our thinking patterns, we too will then realize that whatever happens in our personal lives can also be "להנאחך ולטובחך", for our benefit and advantage in the long run.

      Rav Moshe offers a brilliant insight into this Posuk by explaining that the actual test was not that Avram had to go to the far off land.  Rather, it was that he would have to go without at any time questioning the reason for having to do so.  It would have been possible for Hashem to give Avram all the blessings right where he was without bothering him to travel.  For Avram to accept whatever Hashem commanded without ever thinking to question Him was indeed a great accomplishment.

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