Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Doreish Tov on Medrash Rabbah Parashas Lech Lecho 5769 (2)

Doreish Tov on Medrash Rabbah
Parashas Lech Lecho 5769


The Medrash

The Medrash states that it is said (Bereishis 12:1) vayomer HaShem el Avram, HaShem said to Avram… Rabbi Berachiah said that it is said (Shir HaShirim 1:3) lireiach shimanecha tovim shemen turak shimecho, like the scent of goodly oils is the spreading fame of your good deeds. Rabbi Berachiah said that Avraham could be compared to a flask of myrrh oil that was closed tightly with a seal and placed in a corner and did not emit a fragrance. Once the flask was moved it emitted a fragrance. Similarly, HaShem instructed Avraham, “travel from place to place and your name will become great in the world.”

Question on the Medrash

It appears from the words of the Medrash that HaShem wished that Avraham should travel so his name would become known throughout the world. What was the purpose of Avraham’s name becoming known throughout the world?

The deeper intention of the Medrash

I once heard an amazing insight into the statement of the Medrash (Bereishis Rabbah 47:6) that states: haavos hen merkavah (lashechinah), the Patriarchs were the chariot (for the Divine Presence). The purpose of the chariot is to carry the rider. Similarly, the goal of the Patriarchs was that through their actions, they should be invisible and everyone should recognize the rider, i.e., HaShem’s Presence in the world. In a similar vein we can understand the meaning of the Medrash here. HaShem sought to proclaim His Name throughout the world, and He chose Avraham for this sacred mission.

The lesson of the Medrash

Every second of our lives we have the opportunity to be the chariot for the Divine Presence. It is up to us to remain behind the scenes and to allow HaShem’s Glory to be revealed throughout the world.

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