Thursday, November 3, 2011

Do it Right: Have Emunah

by Devora Gila Berkowitz

Parshat Lech Lecha

Move over, Yuri Gagarin. The first man in outer space was actually our patriarch, Avraham. That's according to the midrash on Bereshit 15:5.

Avraham is a prolific astrologer. He understands from the constellantions that he can't have children. In a dramatic display, G-d takes him "outside" above the stars to show him how abundant his descendents will be.

Here we learn a powerful lesson about emunah -- faith in G-d. "And he trusted (he'emin) in G-d, and He considered it as righteousness (tzedakah). The first time a root appears in the Torah is its essence. As far as I can tell, this is the debut appearance of both roots. The fact that they both appear together in the same verse strongly suggests an interconnection.

Tzedekah is based on the root for justice, because it's what's right to do. We don't need to travel far to know that trusting G-d is the right thing to do. But even Avraham has to be taken out of his own perspective to receive a new perception of himself.

How do you currently view youself? From a bird's eye view, and with faith in G-d's highest wishes for you, how could you perceive yourself in a new light today?

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