Ariel Ben Avraham

Lech Lecha: The Hebrew identity

Our patriarch Abraham is the epitome of the relation-ship between Israel and the Creator. He is the chosen one for the covenant of both parts, the seal of this pact. We must bear this in our minds, hearts and souls.

Abraham represents the higher consciousness that recognizes the oneness and uniqueness of God, the individual who rejects all kinds of idolatry as ego’s fantasies and illusions. This higher consciousness knows that the one and only true reality is God, His ways, His will, and His attributes.

God chooses Abraham as Israel to seal the eternal covenant with which Israel proclaims and manifests God’s presence in His creation. This is Abraham’s inheritance and Israel’s legacy to the world. This covenant delineates Israel’s destiny in the material world, and determines our greatness as the Jewish people.

“And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and [you shall] be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2)

This is Israel’s identity through which we realize that God is the greatest blessing, because all the blessings come from Him. In this awareness Israel is blessed, and becomes God’s blessing to be manifest in the world.

We as Israel are the recipients and bearers of the blessing to reveal God’s presence, to celebrate and rejoice in the realization that His love is our essence, and also our redemption from the illusions, mirages and fantasies that separate us from Him.

Love, as the material manifestation of God’s love, is indeed our redeeming spirit because love is the primordial sustenance of our life. Our love is the blessing of God’s love. Thus we realize that love does not cohabit with anything different from its ways, means, and attributes.

This means that the blessings don’t share time or space with curses, because the goodness of love doesn’t coexist with the badness of wickedness. This is how we understand God’s words in this context.

“And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you.” (12:3)

Goodness as well as all the traits, qualities, aspects and dimensions of love’s ways and attributes are the blessing in which everyone is blessed. What a privilege and honor to be the bearers of the blessing to reveal God’s presence in the material world! We have heard that “privileges and honors imply obligations and responsibilities”.

We don’t necessarily have to understand it as some-thing forced onto us to be and to have, but to assimilate it as an essential part of our identity. In this way, we flow with the blessing in what we discern, think, believe, feel, speak and act. This is the fundamental legacy of Abraham to us (see in this blog our commentary on Parshat Lech Lecha: “Walking before the Creator” of October 19, 2015).

Jewish oral tradition tells us that at an early age, Abraham became aware of the futility inherent in ego’s materialistic desires out of a feeling or belief of lack in any of our consciousness’ dimensions. He learned that such illusory approach to life is the creator of idols we follow and obey, falling down under their domain and servitude, making us ignore and even deny our essence and true identity.

In this sense, the prerequisite to know and embrace God is the rejection of ego’s fantasies and illusions. This is how we understand what the Torah refers to as idolatry. Abraham’s total rejection of idolatry led him to realize and recognize the Creator not only as the one and only God, but also the one and only reality by which we must live as the blessing He is for us and His creation.

We achieve this awareness by knowing His ways and attributes also as ours in what we are and do (see our commentary in this blog, Lech lecha: “The Blessings of our True Identity” of October 29, 2014).

This awareness is the inner land that He gives us to live eternally.

“For all the land that you see I will give to you and to your seed to eternity.” (13:15)

As we live this blessing we assimilate its endlessness, because His giver is endless and we don’t have to fear the awe our consciousness experiences because the blessing is also our shield.

This shield not only guards us from ego’s illusions, but it is also part of our identity because this shield identifies what we must become in this world.

“(…) the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, ‘Fear not, Abram; I am a Shield for you; [therefore] your reward is exceedingly great’.” (15:1)

Here we understand this identity as a bond with God, because His ways and attributes are our guide and destiny to live and experience in this world. As we said before, these ways do not cohabit with any different to them, because they are paths of goodness, righteousness, fairness and justice. In this direction we find our abundance, prosperity, and happiness in excess.

“(…) and He said to him, ‘I am the almighty God; walk before Me and be wholehearted [righteous]. And I will place My covenant between Me and between you, and I will multiply you very greatly’.” (17:1-2)

This first dialogue between God and Abraham also re-minds us to eliminate all that is useless in our consciousness, that which we do not need in our destiny to know the Creator and reveal His presence and glory in the world… that which obstructs our path to redeem ourselves from all evil through love’s ways and attributes as our essence and true identity.

That is what the foreskin represents in our body and in our consciousness.

“And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be as the sign of a covenant between Me and between you.” (17:11)

With this we seal our pact to pursue, live and rejoice in God’s ways.

“But you, Israel My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, whom I love, whom I grasped from the ends of the earth, and from its nobles I called you, and I said to you, ‘You are My servant’; I chose you and I did not despise you.” (Isaiah 41:8-9)

In this awareness all fantasies, mirages and illusions of the material world dissipate because God’s love strengthens our love to clear them all.

“Behold I have made you a new grooved threshing-sledge, with sharp points; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them fine, and you shall make hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, and a wind shall carry them off, and a tempest shall scatter them, and you shall rejoice with the Lord, with the Holy One of Israel shall you praise yourself.” (41:15-16)

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 Zefat.
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