Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Rosh Hashanah

Rabbi Label Lam

More and More Ourselves

And an angel of HASHEM called to him and said, "Avraham / Avraham!" And he said, "Here I am!" ( Breishis 22:11)

Avraham/ Avraham: It's an expression of dearness that he doubled his name. (Rashi)

It's quite reasonable that Avraham was spoken to affectionately at that moment. He had just demonstrated his willingness to bend his own will in favor of The Almighty's in the most dramatic fashion ever. How is it, though, that repeating a name expresses dearness?

Every once and a while, in the spring, I am inspired to plant some different types of flowers. I happen to have a particular attraction to the elegant "sunflower". On the shelf, at the nursery, are these little packets with colorful pictures of clusters of fully developed sunflowers. That's usually enough of a lure to get me to buy some. Ever hopeful I push a bunch of seeds into the earth and wait for the happy results.

After a few days little heads have begun to peek out from the soil. Weeks later the necks are starting to stretch to the heavens. Not soon after this stage I have most often met with great disappointment. The plants usually begin to bend and bow penitently before falling back to the ground.

I look forward to the day when I will gaze out into the garden and behold: The sunflower emerging from the good earth actually matches the picture on that packet attached to the stick. Then I'll shout with glee, "Sunflower!" while admiring the towering flower and then again "Sunflower!" as I perceive its perfect likeness to the picture on the outside of the packet. It's a match!

The Zohar explains that a person's name is doubled when they actualize their potential. When the picture of what the person could be is mirrored by what the person is, then the name is repeated as an expression of endearment.

The Rambam writes in his "Laws of Teshuva" that any person can become righteous like Moses. A person's spiritual height, not like physical height is a function of how one exercises their free will and not a determined fact of life. Can anyone reach the stature of Moshe? The Torah tells us explicitly that there will never again be another prophet like Moshe. His unique greatness will remain forever unmatched. What does the Rambam mean?

Before it became popular a friend of mine in yeshiva was busy stirring some green health- mix while others were busy with their toast and coffee. A fellow approached this petite pal of mine and asked him crudely, "Do you think you're healthier than us?" My friend gave such a sweet and poignant reply, "No, but I am lot healthier than I used to be!"

No one is expected to be Moshe or Avraham. Each mined out the best of what was coded into the seeds of their beings. As we read about Avraham's amazing achievement at the "Akeida", on Rosh HaShana it may be worthwhile to remember that we are not being asked to be better or holier than anybody else on the planet but we are being urged by a pleading Shofar and the steady beat of the clock to become more and more ourselves.

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright 2003 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Shared Responsibility
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Candle Lighting Blessings
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Hashem Must Play The Role of Our First Love, Not Our Second Fiddle
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Rachel's Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Twin Peaks
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

> Out, Up, and On His Way
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

A Matter of Honour
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

A Glaring Omission
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

ArtScroll

Physical or Spiritual - Who's In Control?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Reaching Upward
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

The Light of Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Basic Concepts and Laws
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Taking A Stand - Making A Difference
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Chanukah Vs. Purim
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Body and Soul
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information