Someone Must Be Home (Parshat Lech Lecha – Mussar)

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Like a breath of fresh air, after two thousand years of spiritual darkness, Avraham emerged and illuminated the world. The Sages depict Avraham’s recognition of HaShem with a beautiful parable.

Once a traveler saw a palatial building that was lit up with many lamps. “Is it possible that the building lacks a person to look after it?” he marveled. The owner of the building looked out and said, “I am the owner of the building.” So too, Avraham thought, “Can the world be without a caretaker?” HaShem looked out and said to Avraham, “I am the Caretaker, the King of the universe.”

The generation of Avraham Avinu was historically close to creation. In fact, Avraham saw Shem, Noah’s son, and Noah saw Adam, the first man. Therefore, in this period that was linked to the creation, the existence of the Creator was a universal fact. Consequently, it was not necessary for Avraham to enlighten mankind to the existence of the Creator.

Rather, after the great flood, people began to think that although HaShem created the world, He did not serve as the world’s caretaker.    

They incorrectly assumed that HaShem appointed the stars and planets to control events on the earth.

Thankfully, Avraham did not accept these ideas. He looked at the world and saw that the world was being cared for with spectacular and unabated kindness: The rivers and springs; the golden sunshine; the beautiful flowers; the plentiful food; and the precious gift of life.

Just as it had to be that the building had a caretaker to attend to its lights, so too, it can only be HaShem, Who showers the world with goodness, kindness, compassion, and love. Avraham perceived this great truth, i.e., that HaShem cares for us every second of our existence, and taught it to his fellow man.

May we recognize – and rejoice – in HaShem’s wondrous kindness that continuously surrounds us (Lev Shalom of  Rav Shalom Shvadron)

Today: Look up at the sun – and thank HaShem for its light, radiance, and warmth.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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