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Decentralize and find your promised land.

Thursday, 14 October, 2021 - 7:23 pm

Avraham is told in this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Lech Lecha, to go out. To leave the centralized structures that he has built around himself. “From your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house.”

So many things that we do is because that is the way culture taught us. Some are from the environment in which we were born, and some are from how we were nurtured.

During the 1960s, young people were becoming increasingly distrustful of parents and teachers. This led them to turn from the values and traditions with which they had been raised.

It seems they were following the instruction to Avraham to leave the constraints, the central structures that are around them.

The Rebbe viewed this as decentralizing the negative parts of Judaism. What one may call a shallow or watered-down Jewish experience.

The youth were searching for something deeper.

The Rebbe even wrote this in a letter

"We are seeing this awakening primarily among the youth, who experience everything with a greater depth and a greater intensity. Young people also have no fear of changing their lifestyle, as long as they are convinced that they are being given the truth, without compromise and equivocation...

..... if only they are given the truth in its purity. We have witnessed in actuality that those who are not intimidated and present the truth without equivocation have been met with a true response among the youth."

"History repeats itself" or as Ecclesiastes says, “There’s nothing new under the sun”.

Now is another time we need to ask ourselves: is it time for me to leave my view on religion, spirituality and G-d behind? The one I solidified 10 years ago or maybe 20, 30, of 40 years ago. The one that I bought into and codified as the official view.

Perhaps, if I am willing, when I leave MY land, MY birthplace, MY father’s house I will find more then I ever imagined. The journey may be arduous but, in the end, I will find MY promised land. The one that Hashem chose for me, based on Torah and Mitzvos.

Avraham was 75 when he started his journey. We can also take this journey. We need to be willing to make that leap of faith.

Have a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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