Lech Lecha 2006

In Parsha Lech Lecha we learn of the tests of Abraham. Avraham Avinu, our father Abraham, was given ten tests (nisyanos) by Hashem. Every year when we read this parsha, we must think over the concept of what a test is. Why does Hashem test us? Doesn’t He know what’s in our hearts? Doesn’t He know if we will succeed in the test or not? To understand this we must look at the root of the word nisayon. The word nais, as we use it in our daily prayers, is a flagpole, something that is held up high. The concept of a nisayon, a test, is not just to show what a person is today. Rather, it is meant to bring out the potential that the person can be. Just as when a person exercises, by doing the exercise they become stronger and able to do more. When a person runs a race, by doing the race their capability to run is increased. So too, when we are presented with a nisayon, with a challenge that we must overcome, we become better people by facing the challenge. Although we don’t look for challenges, when Hashem sends them they are there to help us improve and become greater. This is why our sages tell us that Hashem never gives us a test unless we can handle it. If we wouldn’t be up to it, then there would be no point to the challenge. Although we may feel that a test is sometimes very hard for us, in truth if we are given it, then we have the ability to successfully rise to it. This was the lesson of the ten tests of Abraham. This remains our legacy, to take the challenges we meet in the course of our life and to use them as an opportunity to grow and improve, to become closer to our Creator, and to become a better person. Wishing you and your family a great Shabbos!!! Rabbi Moshe Travitsky