January 15, 2023 Va'eira
You can translate "va'eira" with: "and I was seen". HaShem was seen by Abraham, Yitzchak and Isaac. They had such great faith in HaShem that whatever happened, whatever test came on their way, they saw that it came from HaShem, and they were able to take the test and pass it.
We have heard of HaShem's faithfulness from the stories of Tanach, from rabbis and teachers, but sometimes tests, challenges to make us grow, come our way that we do not understand.
Moses cried out to HaShem, "O G-d, why have You mistreated these people?"
This is how we sometimes feel when something happens to us that we do not understand. Our intellect is limited and in our distress it is good to cry out to HaShem.
To Cry Out
We should all serve HaShem with all of our heart and mind. The main part of this service is prayer, and therefore we should always pray before G-d, to make request to Him for all of our needs (and we should thank and praise Him for His goodness).
One of the things in life that can give a person sleepless nights is his income. For this, the following prayer can be used:
May it be Your Will, L-rd our G-d, that my provisions and my livelihood, and the provisions and livelihood of my household, be encompassing, appropriate and virtuous in Your hands. May we never be in need of the gifts of man nor of their loans, but only of Your hand which is full, open, holy, and generous. And may my work and all my dealings be blessed and not destitute, for life and not for death. And may I merit that no desecration of the Name of Heaven occur through me, and that I may be among the charitable and those that influence for good to everyone at all times, and fill my hand with Your blessings and satiate me of Your goodness. For You are blessed and bring blessings to the universe. The eyes of all look expectedly to You, and You give them all their food in its proper time. You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living being. Cast you burden upon the L-rd, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the falling of the righteous. Please lift my strength and raise my fortune in order that I will be albe to serve You whole-heartedly all the days of the world. Amen.
But there are many challenges in life among others the following Tehillim 23 can be recited for this purpose:
A psalm of David. The L-RD is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me to awater in places of repose;
He renews my life; He guides me in right paths as befits His name.
Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.
You spread a table for me in full view of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my drink is abundant.
Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the L-RD for many long years.
Testing out of Love
Abraham had placed his complete trust in HaShem. He saw the goodness of HaShem in everything, which made him face every test. But isn't it faint of HaShem to tease us with tests, why is it necessary? The G-dly purpose for a test is (can be) because He loves a person and He want to uplift the person. Through a test we have to cling to HaShem, we can train our trust in Him. Just as you train your muscles at the gym, you can train your confidence in HaShem, but there must be a test, otherwise you cannot train. And just as at the gym your muscles get stronger through training, through a test your trust in HaShem gets bigger and stronger.
And just as people can (sometimes) admire the muscles of other athletes, so the world can admire Abraham's trust in HaShem.
Now we hear about HaShem, but in the time of Redemption we will see Him as G-d promised: The glory of G-d will be revealed (seen), and all flesh will see it together. (Isaiah 40:5)
Does that mean that when we can already see His actions in this world now that Redemption has already begun and is unfolding?
May we all train our trust and may the world see our trust in HaShem.
Sources: Kehot Chumash Va'eira, Prayers for Noahides: Community Services and Personal Worship, The Seven Gates of Righteous Knowledge by Rabbi Moshe Weiner and Dr. Michael Schulman
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the NoahideAcademy.org website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.
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