Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Avraham Avinu - Doubt and the Creation of the World

In Parshas Lech Lecha, in Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh al HaTorah, Rav Shwartz writes an interesting thing. He says that when it says, at the beginning of the parsha, "וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם." It uses the lashon "וַיֹּאמֶר" because it is a reference to the asara ma'amaros she'nivrah bahem haolam." This is a reference to the fact that Hashem created the whole world for the sake of Avraham and the Emunah that he would bring to the world.

But he says a startling thing. He points out that the word "Ma'amar," im mispar hakolel, equals the gematria of both "Amalek," and "safek." Of course I knew of the equivalency of those two words, but not with their connection between "Ma'amar" and Avraham and Brias Ha'olam. To explain this startling fact, he points out that Avraham is the only one of the Avos who started off his life of Emunah with safek about the existence of Hashem. He was brought up in the idolatrous house of Terach, his father. And he wrestled for years, using Chakira, logic and philosophy, to come to the conclusion that Hashem existed and that He is One. But since he started off with a state of safek, and Avraham's state of perfect Emunah in Hashem after a process of safek was the desired goal behind Hashem's creation of the universe, that is why he planted this reference to Avraham in His creation of the world through the word "Ma'amar," as used in parshas Lech Lecha. The Meor Einayim on the parsha also points out how Avraham was found in the creation of the universe in the famous gemara that says that the pasuk in Bereishis 2:4 states, "אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, בְּהִבָּרְאָם," which says not to read the pasuk as "בְּהִבָּרְאָם," but rather, "בְּאָבָּרְהִם."

Separate from what the Bilvavi says about this, I was also thinking that the fact that Hashem created Safek in the process of the Asara ma'amaros she'nivrah bahem ha'olam, works well with what we know about that process of creation. Until Hashem created the universe, there existed absolute, unadulterated clarity about Hashem's presence and existence. However, once He started creating more of our "reality," His Presence became more and more concealed behind the veil of our metziyus hamedumeh. With each ma'amar that Hashem used to create the world, He was metzamtzim (concealed) Himself more and more.

Therefore, it can be said that Safek in Emunah arose because of and through Hashem's creation of the world. Concordantly, it can be understood why each "ma'amar" Hashem used to create the world is equivalent in gematria to the word "safek," doubt.

Hashem built Avraham into the creation of the universe because it is Avraham's type of Emunah, an absolute Emunah that follows doubt and uncertainty, which we most need in our world. Hashem intentionally concealed his existence behind the veil of "reality," in order that we should have an opening for doubt/safek regarding His presence, from which we must work very hard at concretizing our awareness and recognition of His presence.

May you and I merit to break through the false picture of doubt in Emunah that exists because of the seemingly real world before our eyes!

"[T]he world... has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." (Morpheus - Don't tell anyone that I quoted this...)

-Dixie Yid
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Chaim B. said...

See Likutei Moharan #52 (IIRC - the one on Bo el Pharoah). The process of creation, which entains tzimtzum, by definition hides the true clarity of Hashem's presence otherwise we could not exist as independent entities or have bechira.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Thank you for the ma'areh makom! The summary you said is definitely true and shtims with other things I've seen, especially a piece on the 10 makos, in Ohr Gedaliyahu.

-Dixie Yid