By Moshe Feiglin
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, G-d appeared to Abram, and said to him: ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be simply sincere.’ (Genesis 17:1)And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, G-d appeared to Abram, and said to him: ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be simply sincere.’ (Genesis 17:1)
“Do not lose your simple sincerity,” the King of the world says to the father of the Jewish nation. Even when ‘reality’ shows that there is no hope, and when the very opposite of what was promised happens, simple sincerity is the secret weapon that will make the blessing reality.
From then until this very day, the Jewish world belongs to the simply sincere. When G-d tells them to “go forth,” they simply get up and go. All the rest; the Sadducees, Karaites, Reform, Hellenists, Enlightened, pragmatists and intelligentsia – appear on stage for a short time and then fall into the depths of forgotten Jewish history.
Sometimes, simple sincerity can be confused with passivity. “We will simply learn Torah and everything will work out,” say some. Or: “We will simply build new settlements.” Or: “We will simply become top officers in the army.” Or: “We will simply play the political game.” Or: We will simply make a lot of money and everything will work out.” Each person seems to have a form of passivity that keeps him comfortable. But Abraham does not confuse simple sincerity with passivity. He teaches Torah, makes wars, builds the Land, is actively involved in politics, makes a lot of money and does not forgo any human endeavor. He keeps going all the time – but with simple sincerity as his guiding light.