Chayei Sarah: Loving kindness and truth

We have said many times in this blog that God is the blessing because all blessings come from Him. This portion of the Torah is indeed about blessings. The lives of Sarah and Abraham are a blessing to humankind because their legacy is about loving kindness and truth.

“Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His loving kindness and His truth from my master.” (Genesis 24:27)

They set up for humankind the ways and means in which God relates to His entire Creation. They lived by being and doing His ways and attributes. Let’s recall that God is “abundant in loving kindness and truth” (Exodus 34:6) and “The world is built on loving kindness” (Psalms 89:2).

Thus we assimilate that everything that exists is an emanation of God, and sustained by His love. This is His blessing, the greatest love of all. Thus we understand the meaning of “(…) and the Lord had blessed Abraham in everything.” (Genesis 24:1) because loving kindness and truth are God’s blessings for us to become and manifest (see in this blog our commentary on Parshat Chayei Sarah: “Life as divine service”.

Our sages explain the meanings of the verses in the Torah related to God’s blessings to our patriarchs, “in everything” for Abraham, “from everything” for Isaac, and “with everything” for Jacob. God blesses us “in everything” when all we do is a blessing, meaning that our life is guided and directed to be and do goodness in what we discern, think, believe, feel, speak and do. This level of consciousness is personified by Abraham and Sarah.

We are blessed “from everything” when we are wise enough to turn whatever happens to us, either wrong or negative, into something good and positive for our benefit and the benefit of others. This awareness, represented by Isaac, requires the absolute belief and trust that everything serves a purpose we must direct to fulfill God’s will.

We do it for our individual and collective well being. We must not understand this approach as making negative situations acceptable and permissible. All the way around. The idea is to correct and redirect negative actions into positive and uplifting steps towards goodness. We do something good from (out of) everything.

We are blessed by God “with everything” when we realize that what we are, have and do (all with which we can exist) come from Him. Hence we give because what we give comes from God’s love, which is endless. This fundamental principle removes any belief or feeling of lack from our consciousness, and bring us to the highest awareness that we belong to God.

Once we fully assimilate this truth, we realize that we don’t lack anything because what we are already contains all we need, want and desire, which is God’s love. That with which we are, that with which we are made has everything that our imagination can’t qualify or quantify. This utmost awareness is represented by Jacob.

We as Israel fulfill our destiny when we are totally aware of the scope of the ways God blesses us in everything, from everything, and with everything. Let’s always keep this awareness in all levels of consciousness.

Again, the Torah reminds us not to tamper God’s blessing, love as the material manifestation of His love, with anything different from His ways and attributes.

“And I [Abraham] will adjure you by the Lord, the God of the Heaven and the God of the Earth, that you will not take a wife for my son [Isaac] from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose midst I dwell.” (24:3).

Our sages also direct us not to pollute our essence and true identity with the negative traits and tendencies of the lower aspects of consciousness, represented by the Canaanite nations (see in this blog our commentary on Chayei Sarah: The Jewish Identity). We must be clear, determined and inflexible on this issue as Sarah was when she asked Abraham to expel Hagar and her son Ismael from their home.

“Drive out this handmaid and her son, for the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac.” (21:10)

It’s not enough to discern the differences between blessing and curse, positive and negative, right and wrong, false and true, loving ways and evil ways. We have to make the good choices to become the goodness of God’s blessing. Likewise, it is not enough to know His will and commandments, as well as the prophecies in the Torah and the Hebrew Bible.

We must do everything in our reach to fulfill them all. This we learn throughout our history, including the episode cited in the haftarah for this portion.

There was the will of God to make Solomon the sole heir of king David, this as the promise made by David to his wife Batsheva, and also a prophecy by Nathan in this regard. There was a point in which this may not have happened. Therefore Batsheva and Nathan the prophet did what was needed to fulfill God’s will, David’s promise, and Nathan’s prophecy. King David also did his part.

“Indeed, as I [David] swore to you [Bat Sheva] by the Lord God of Israel saying, ‘Surely Solomon, your son, shall reign after me and he shall sit on my throne in my stead’ surely, so will I do this day.” (I Kings 1:30)

God gave us free will to make our choices. He gave us the options and references to choose from. He also gave us the instruction (His Torah and commandments) to make the right choices by choosing the blessings and not the curses. In the blessings we delight in the goodness of love’s ways and attributes as the material manifestation of of God’s love.

The blessings of love are our redemption, our true freedom from the curses of ego’s fantasies and illusions, and negative trends and traits. Love is our common bond with God’s love. As long as we walk in His ways and attributes, there are no illusions that separate us from Him.

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
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