On the roof of the Aish center looking down at the Western Wall with Chevra & Davai in 2011

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Torah Thought: Parsha Chayei Sarah

Towards the end of parsha Chayei Sarah, we witness the death of the probably the greatest person that ever lived, our father Abraham.

Chassidic sources teach that when a great person dies, they are felt more in this world then when they were alive.  This concept always reminds me of Obi Wan Kenobi’s final words in Star Wars before Darth Vader killed him “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

That being said, how is Abraham felt more in the world now then when he was alive?

As Jews, we’re known by many names… The word “Jew” itself stems from Judah (Yehuda) who was Abraham’s great grandson.  The name shares the same root word as “Thankful.”  We’re also called Israel or the sons of Israel.  I want to focus on a name that was first used when people described Abraham… Hebrew (Ivri) which means the “other” one.

Abraham lived in world dominated by idolatry and moral deprivation, yet he stood unwavering in his beliefs and brought the concept of one G-d to the masses.  I believe the gift that Abraham gave us as Jews is to be to be the other ones.  To be apart of and yet apart from this world.  It’s clear that Jews are different from other groups… not quite a nationality, not quite a religion, not quite a race.  After all, what are we?

We’re a family that has been given the ability from our father Abraham to bring light into a world of darkness.

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