After Avraham had waged a war against four mighty kings, in which great miracles had
happened to him, he feared that his schar (heavenly reward) was depleted through
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, vanochi holech ariri
hen li lo nasati
zera" - Since I am childless, what profit is there in all that you will give
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 usfor hacochavim im
tuchal lsfor osom vayomer lo ko yihiye zarecha" - 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
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 Hashems command. Seeing this, Hashem
declared, "Ko yihiye zarecha" - 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 Hashems will. In response to this, Hashem said, "Ko yihiye
zarecha" So shall your descendants be. When Avrahams 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 theres a will, theres 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
This is one idea that can help us develop a desire to serve Hashem. For once we have a
desire to do Hashems will, we are propelled onward into action by the blessing of
Hashem to Avrahams children: "Ko yihiye zaracha".
- Sources: Lekach Tov, Nitzutzei Ohr Hameir
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