Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blessed In Everything

Gen. 24:1:

ואברהם זקן בא בימים וה' ברך את אברהם בכל
Avraham was old; he had come through the days, and God had blessed Avraham in everything.
What does it mean that God had blessed Avraham in everything? R. Samson Raphael Hirsch offers a beautiful explanation. Here are his words in a recent translation:
Avraham’s happiness came to expression in that he was blessed בכל, in everything. A person may succeed in everything that he does, everything that he owns may prosper, and yet he himself may remain unhappy amidst all this blessing. All his assets may grow and thrive, but in his heart there is no שמחה, he does not grow or flourish spiritually. Avraham, however, did feel himself blessed, and flourished through all his blessings.
(Dr. Yitzchok Levine has uploaded the extended explanation from the new translation here: link - PDF. The new translation can be purchased here: link.)

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