Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Occasional Vort

This is the first in a series of Torah insights based on the teachings of a variety of sages. Please welcome Netanel Livni who will be writing the posts. The posts are expected to be at least weekly and maybe even more frequent, depending on the week.

by Netanel Livni

It is brought down in the name of Rav Kook that he once asked why Avraham's progeny is blessed with two similes (בראשית כב:יז):

כִּי בָרֵךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ וְהַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה אֶת זַרְעֲךָ כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם וְכַחוֹל אֲשֶׁר עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore.
Click here to read moreWhy are the Jewish people compared to both the stars of the heaven and the sand on the seashore? Rav Kook answers that each Jew is blessed in two aspects that complement each other. On the one hand, each Jew has a unique light to shine onto the world. In this sense, he is like a star in the sky which is special due to its unique light and position in the sky. On the other hand, a Jew is special by virtue of their belonging to Klal Yisrael. In that sense, a Jew is lacking any individual significance, just as a single grain of sand lacks significance. It is only when all the grains of sand are united do they gain significance.

Thus, the blessing of Avraham is that his children build a society that is united and where all appreciate the importance of the Klal while at the same time, this identification with the Klal does not oppress each individual's unique creativity and light. For such a society to be built, we truely need Hashem's blessing!

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More