Lech Lecha – A Test by Avi Wollman


 “And I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great…” (12:2).  Pirkei Avot describes how Avraham Avinu went through ten tests by Hashem over the course of his life. One of these tests is found in the first Pasuk of this week’s Parsha, “to pick up and go.”  Rav Zweig asks why this commandment is considered a test.  Hashem promises Avram fame, fortune and many children. Why should a person who is guaranteed fame, fortune, and children, have trouble leaving his home?

Rav Zweig answers this question by pointing out a difference between what is considered good for us and what is considered pleasurable for us.  For instance, there is a difference between food that is good for us and food that is unhealthy but tastes good.  So too, there is work and there is entertainment.  Just like a person must choose between the food that he will eat, he must choose the proper actions to take.  The main reason behind this dilemma is that pleasure is defined as any type of physical enjoyment.  However, one must realize that the ultimate form of pleasure is really doing what is right.  One gains the greatest type of satisfaction and pleasure from doing the right thing, and as a result the two choices merge into one.  This is man’s greatest test; either going though life miserably because of unfulfilled wishes, or being happy because one knows he has done the right thing.  This is the way that Hashem tests Avram.  Hashem shows Avram that enjoying all the Mitzvot really leads to enjoying what is right.  It is this idea that we must understand like Avram did, in order to fulfill what was promised to Avram, to become a Goy Gadol, a great nation.

Gevulot Haaretz by Oren Levy

No Pain, No Gain by Moshe Zharnest