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Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Avraham’s main virtue was not his personal devotion to G-d, but his ability to connect and influence others to follow G-d’s path.” * On HaYom Yom for the 8th of Tammuz.

by Bing AI

The Torah says that G-d loved Avraham because “he commands his children and his household.” The word for commands, yetzaveh, can also mean connect. This teaches us that Avraham's main virtue was not his personal devotion to G-d, which was tested by many trials, but his ability to connect and influence others to follow G-d's path. He did not keep his faith to himself, but shared it with everyone he met. He was the first Jewish educator and outreach worker.

This reminds me of a Chassidic tale about Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev. Once, he saw a man running in the street on Friday afternoon, before Shabbat. He stopped him and asked him: "Why are you running?" The man said: "I'm running to do a mitzvah. I have to buy candles and wine for Shabbat." Rabbi Levi Yitzchak said: "That's wonderful. But tell me, do you have a friend who might not have candles and wine for Shabbat?" The man said: "Yes, I do. There is a poor family in my neighborhood who can barely afford bread." Rabbi Levi Yitzchak said: "Then you should run even faster. Because the greatest mitzvah is not only to do G-d's will yourself, but to help others do it as well."

This is the lesson we learn from Avraham. He was not satisfied with his own relationship with G-d. He wanted to bring the light of G-d to the whole world. He wanted to make every person and every thing a vessel for G-d's presence. He wanted to prepare the world for the ultimate revelation of G-d, which will happen with the coming of Moshiach.

May we all follow Avraham's example and connect ourselves and others with G-d. May we all merit to see the fulfillment of the verse: "And all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you." May we all witness the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days. Amen.

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