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Devar Torah - Lech Lecha

Friday, 8 November, 2019 - 11:24 am

The True Inheritors of Avraham
Don’t Check Polls and Don’t Look Back
By Rabbi Shimon Raichik

In this week’s parsha of Lech-Lecha the Torah describes the war of the 4 Kings against the 5 Kings. When Lot was taken captive by the stronger more formidable successful group of 4 Kings, Og the King of Bashan came to inform Avraham.

Og had a plan. He knew that Avraham was a man of his word and had agreed to protect Lot. He was hoping that Avraham would throw caution to the wind against overwhelming odds and go fight the war against the 4 kings. In Og’s mind he didn’t have a chance. Then, after Avraham would fall in war he would take Sarah as his wife.

The Midrash says that night was Pesach and Avraham was busy baking matzos when Og arrived. The Rebbe asks why the Midrash mentions this point; there must be an underlying intention or message.

The Rebbe explains that Og was filled with doubt if his plan would succeed. While its true that Avraham had agreed to protect Lot, everyone knew, especially Avraham that his 318 men (or just Eliezer according to a second explanation) faced impossible odds. Would Avraham take on a completely unnatural and metaphysical conflict with no logic to save Lot? He was unsure. Then he saw the matzo. He saw the pure emunah of Avraham and then he knew that his plan would work. Avraham would go to war, get killed and he would have Sarah as a wife. Og got the surprise of his life when Avraham returned victorious.

The lesson to all of us, inheritors of Avraham and his way, is obvious. There’s an Og out there with different names. Call him the UN the EU or even the US. The world is screaming at us that we cannot build and live peacefully in our own land.  There is a big temptation to recoil in fear from what could happen to us if we don’t listen to and follow conventional wisdom. Our odds aren’t so great from an empirical perspective. It’s not easy to stand up against the whole world to fulfill our agreement to live the life of the Torah and mitzvos open and proudly and settle Eretz Yisroel. But we are the children of Avraham and it’s with his example of rock solid emunah that we go forward proudly and openly keeping the Torah and mitzvos and settling the land knowing that we have the strength to overcome despite any and all odds.

We know and we have seen over and over that compromise has never helped; it has only complicated matters and ended in even greater dangers. With emunah we can fight and win, the same today as in the times of Avraham.

The Rebbe said that Moshiach is coming and we need to prepare the world. Some look around in fear at the UN the EU and even the US and start using polls and odds in our approach coopting the doubting mindset of the giant Og. We need to go out together with Eliezer, Kel-li-ezer, Hashem is my help, together with the Aibishter’s help and be victorious regardless of any other consideration. With Hashem and Toras Emes we will break through all of the doubts and all of the worries. Practically speaking by strengthening the chinuch of our children and the values in our homes, by dressing modestly and having a shiur Torah and davening we have the strength to break through all of the fears without any calculations and prepare the world for the revelation of Moshiach, Now!

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