Friday, October 18, 2013

HaShem Will See

"HaShem will see"

(Genesis 22:14)
MarCheshvan 14, 5774/October 18, 2013

Avraham Avinu (our father Abraham), was used to swimming against the current. He was used to bucking trends. He was used to taking the politically correct catechism of his day and smashing it to bits, as he did with his father's idols, when he was all of three years old.

Likewise, Avraham was not adverse to expressing his understanding of right and wrong, even to G-d, as when he challenged G-d's expressed intention to destroy the city of Sodom, lest there be residing there as few as ten righteous men.

And Avraham was not shy to ask G-d for proof that G-d's promise of progeny to Avraham would indeed come to pass.

Indeed, Avraham was known in his day as HaIvri, (the Hebrew), from the Hebrew word ever, as in the expression, mei-ever, from the other side, because if the entire world was on one side of a philosophical or spiritual divide, then Avraham could be found on the other side, doing his own thing, walking with G-d.

But all this doesn't explain Avraham's response when one fine day G-dtold him: "Take your son, your only one, whom you love, yea, Yitzchak, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you." (Genesis 22:2) Based on his past history we would expect Avraham to question G-d, then to try to reason with G-d, and finally to cry out in pain and protest against G-d's instructions. Certainly Avraham lacked neither gumption nor conviction. But after a lifetime preaching G-d's love for humanity and His compassion for His creation, G-d's specific instructions to Avraham to offer up his son Yitzchak as "a burnt offering" shockingly contradict everything Avraham stood for and believed in. It was a slap in the face. And certainly, as the fulfillment of G-d's promise to Avraham that he would beget a child and that Yitzchak would inherit his spiritual legacy,G-d's instructions were no less than earth-shattering, easy grounds for a flat our refusal, a parting of the ways.

But Avraham neither questioned, nor philosophized nor prevaricated nor hesitated for a moment. Silently he prepared and did G-d's will at first light. How do we explain this? And how does Avraham's silent expression of absolute faith impact on us to this day?

This wasn't Avraham's first test, but it was his greatest. We know that he wasn't afraid to walk it alone, and the three day journey he took to the land of Moriah must have been the loneliest days of his life. Or they would have been, had he not walked full with the conviction that, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, G-d's will was still his will, and that as bad as things appeared it was all for the good. To achieve this Avrahamhad to transcend himself and his own definition of who G-d was and howG-d should behave. Avraham had to trust G-d more than he trusted his own senses, more than he trusted his own ability to comprehend. And because Avraham succeeded the story has a happy ending.

If Avraham's performance of G-d's commandment to circumcise himself and his son Yitzchak, (no small test of faith in itself), effectively clinched the continuity and flourishing of his seed for all generations, then his unprecedented act of faith in performing the akeida, (the binding ofYitzchak), on Mount Moriah, equally guaranteed the fulfillment of G-d'spromise to him that the land of Israel, (nee Canaan), would belong to his children and his childen's children to the end of time.

Avraham's children have never wavered in performing the commandment of brit milah, (circumcision), braving decrees against the practice, both in ancient times and today, and not succumbing to the politically correct tyranny that is currently vilifying the practice today. His children have always understood that this is a do or die commandment, and that by performing the commandment we consecrate life. History has not been so kind to the Jews concerning the fulfillment of Avraham'sjourney and ascension to Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, in the city of Jerusalem, the place that Avraham named, "HaShem will see, as it is said to this day: On the mountain, HaShem will be seen." (ibid 22:14) But today, as in Avraham's day, we do have the ability to place our faith in G-d above the fast-food pablum of political punditry and the panacea of the politically correct taser-wielding self-proclaimed guardians of the morally bankrupt waste waters flooding our world. We, like Avraham can defy the nay-sayers and cringers and express our ultimate and undeniable faith in G-d, the Creator and Master of the world, in the one place that Avraham said, "HaShem will see." He will see, and likeAvraham, our very act of faith will guarantee our success. Yitzchak will not be slain, world war three, (as threatened by the Muslims, or by their PC interlopers on their behalf), will not occur. The world won't end. It will begin, as has been foretold: "I will bring them to My holy mount, and I will cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." (Isaiah 56:7) May words of praise and love for the G-d of Israel be heard every day on the Temple Mount and may we soon rebuild the Holy Temple!

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