Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayera

Clear Goal

By Rabbi Pinchas Avruch

Avraham was greatly distressed by the prospect of banishing his son Yishmael from his home, but was commanded by G-d to follow the advice of Sarah, his wife, whose prophecy was superior to his own. "So Avraham awoke early in the morning, took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar." (Beraishis/Genesis 21:14)

The Chofetz Chaim (1) notes that in this episode the Torah reveals to us the enthusiasm and alacrity of Avraham to fulfill the desire of G-d. His personal difficulty with the situation notwithstanding, he utilized great energy and self motivation, not to simply complete his mission, but to do so with a swiftness and eagerness that demonstrated a complete subscription to the Divine will.

Mesilas Yesharim (2) explains that man's ultimate goal is an eternity of deriving humanly incomprehensible pleasure from the splendor of G-d's Presence; toward that end we are given a lifetime to develop our G-d consciousness, to utilize the mitzvos (Divine commandments) to refine our spiritual palate so we may truly enjoy that ultimate pleasure.

Obviously, as mere mortals of flesh and blood, there is great challenge in dedicating a lifetime to striving for an intangible, incomprehensible pleasure. We find ourselves able to forsake inestimable hours of sleep and part with vast sums of money to develop the potential of our children; our image of what we desire our children to be is sufficiently tangible to negate the sense of sacrifice. But for the indefinable World to Come, such sacrifice is, for many, not simple, and, for many more, not happening.

But for our Patriarch Avraham, who independently discovered monotheism and whose spiritual mettle had already been forged by passing eight Divinely orchestrated challenges to his faith, G-d's love and splendor were tangibly evident. While the act of Yishmael's expulsion was extremely painful, his keen comprehension of the generation and fortification of his relationship with the Divine compelled him to grab this opportunity for growth.

As his grandchildren, our spiritual DNA contains the ability to follow suit. It may take a lifetime to become true connoisseurs of spirituality, but - as Avraham understood - that is a paltry investment for an eternity of ecstasy.

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan of Radin; 1838-1933; author of basic works in Jewish law, philosophy and ethics and renowned for his saintly qualities (2) "Path of the Just", one of the most popular Mussar (introspective Jewish self-improvement) works in Jewish literature; a moving, inspiring work describing how a thoughtful Jew may climb the ladder of purification until he attains the level of holiness; authored by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, 1707-1746 of Padua, Italy, and Amsterdam

Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Pinchas Avruch and

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies · 5007 West Keefe Avenue · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · 414-447-7999



View Complete List

A Beginning With No End
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Between Light and Darkness
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

The Condition of Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

No Doubt
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Know that you Know Nothing
Shlomo Katz - 5755

"If He Does Not Merit", Then "Opposite Him"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Choas of Creation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Chaos From The Beginning
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Let Us Make Man
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770


To Rule is Divine
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5775

From the Beginning, Again
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Addressing the Jews
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

> Forbidden Fruit - The Good and the Bad
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Understanding Creation
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Shabbos Bereishis -- Bridge
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5767

To Rise or to Fall
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information