This weeks parsha begins with the famous test given to Avraham Avinu. Avraham is told to leave his homeland, birth-place, and in fact home to his father and family and travel. Leave, and I will show you where we are going later. This was obviously a very difficult thing to do. Uprooting your life and traveling to a new country where you won’t know the lan-guage, customs, where you will have less to no family around and have to start over in life in so many ways is hard enough when many of the holiest of our generation made Aliyah, but at least they knew where they were going. But he did it. He made it to a new land and just as he began to settle, the next test was upon him. He had just put his bags down and a famine plagued the land causing him to need to pick up and leave, again. The second test, as Rashi explains, was a test to how Avraham would respond to the results he merited form passing the previous test. It almost seems like Rashi is saying that we as people feel like the reward we want from passing a test of God is peace and tranquility. Imagine that. What Avraham got instead, was another test. And not just a test. A reality he could have perceived as a sign that he had made a mistake by following Gods will in the first place. Avraham could have looked up and said, “I might be wrong here, but I think you are trying to tell me that I should not have really left home.”
How many of us have heard of someone who made Aliyah and had so many challenges in the first years that they were ready to interoperate it as a sign that they really should not have come in the first place.
Rebbe Nachman teaches that a person who believes that all things are from God will be much more at peace with the challenges he faces in life, after all, it is exactly what God wanted to happen.
The famine was exactly what God wanted to greet Avraham Avinu when he journeyed to Canaan. The challenges the oleh chaddash was greeted with were also exactly as God had planned and wanted. Imagine the strength we all could have when facing our most difficult moments if we looked up, nodded towards our God who loves us, and said in our hearts, “I’ve got this. I know I’ve got this because if I didn’t have it, you wouldn’t give it.”
Rabbi Avi Lipman