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In Recognition Of
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- Reconnecting Jews To Their Heritage

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           flowersLech Lecha

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After Avraham had waged a war against four mighty kings, in which great miracles had happened to him, he feared that his s’char (heavenly reward) was depleted through these miracles.

Hashem appeared in a vision and reassured him of His protection and told him that his reward was still exceedingly great.

Avraham answered, "Ma titein li, v’anochi holech ariri… hen li lo nasati zera" - ‘Since I am childless, what profit is there in all that you will give me?’

Hashem told him that he will indeed have children, they will inherit his property, and they will become a great nation.

And then -

"Vayotzeh oso hachutza vayomer habet na hashamaima u’sfor hacochavim im tuchal l’sfor osom vayomer lo ko yihiye zar’echa" - ‘And He brought him (Avraham) outside and said, "Look now toward the heavens and count the stars, if you will be able to count them," and He said to him, "So shall your descendants be"’

Hashem told Avraham to gaze up towards the millions of stars dotting the inky blackness of the sky. He asked him whether he was able to count them. Even though Avraham knew that it was physically impossible for him to count them, he still gazed up at the sky and tried to do so since he had a strong desire to do Hashem’s command. Seeing this, Hashem declared, "Ko yihiye zar’echa" - So shall your descendants be.

Hashem recognized that when He gave Avraham a command, Avraham did not first determine whether it was physically possible to carry it out. Instead, Avraham acted out of a strong desire to do Hashem’s will. In response to this, Hashem said, "Ko yihiye zar’echa" – So shall your descendants be. When Avraham’s children will be faced with a task seemingly beyond their capabilities, their response will be to begin acting. They will not first contemplate feasibility. And ultimately, they will discover new energy and capabilities to accomplish their charge.

It is told of the Rebbe from Klozenberg that before the Holocaust, he was so physically weak that he needed an assistant to carry his books for him. However, with the onset of the war, when he was deported to a concentration camp and forced to do hard labor, he was able to handle heavy wagon loads. How can this be? Since in the concentration camp, his life depended on performing the labor, and his desire for life was so strong, he found within himself the energy to accomplish the previously impossible.

To quote the common saying, "When there’s a will, there’s a way."

Many a time, a person is faced with a Mitzvah that seems to be impossible to accomplish. However, if he takes a truthful look at the situation he will usually find that the reason it seems impossible is a because he lacks motivation.

How does one develop motivation? Man is endowed with a vivid imagination, which can be used to visualize things that are beyond his realm. Chazal tell us that a breath of air in the next world is more pleasurable that all of the combined pleasures of this world! Ultimately, the heavenly reward for keeping the mitzvos will be many times greater than any earthly reward gained by not keeping the mitzvos. Using our imagination, we can conjure a picture of that inestimable reward, near which the perceived earthly reward will seem negligible.

This is one idea that can help us develop a desire to serve Hashem. For once we have a desire to do Hashem’s will, we are propelled onward into action by the blessing of Hashem to Avraham’s children: "Ko yihiye zar’acha".

  • Sources: Lekach Tov, Nitzutzei Ohr Hameir

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In Loving Memory Of Our Father, Mr. Joseph Black (Yosef Ben Zelig) O"H
In Loving Memory Of Our Mother, Mrs. Norma Black (Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh) O"H
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