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Thursday, 9 November, 2017 - 10:53 am

Servitude is the Greatest Liberation


By Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman Chabad Intown

Do you ever want to take a break from yourself? A break from thinking? A break from feeling? The more sensitive and in touch you are, the smarter you are, the greater the desire to take a break, to greater the need to just still the mind.

Yoga, mindfulness meditation and regular meditation are all helpful to this end. But imagine living the paradox, where you feel and think and still experience peace of mind and heart?!

Meditate on that for a bit :-)!

There is help and it comes from an unlikely Biblical figure – Eliezer the servant of Abraham. In Chabad philosophy, Eliezer represents the ideal messenger, messenger of Abraham. When identifying himself to Isaac’s future wife Rebecca’s family he says “eved Avrohom anochi – I am a servant of Abraham”. That’s his identity. It’s uncomplicated. It’s pure and it epitomizes the ideal of service.

When we are caught up with our own feelings and thoughts because they are our thoughts and feelings, we will eventually be worn down (unless one is a true clinical narcissist, then we have bigger problems). Our ego is never satisfied as long as we are feeding it.

Eliezer identifies as a servant of Abraham. His whole identity is service. The Torah tells us in great detail TWICE! how Eliezer strategized how to identify the right wife for Isaac. The Torah tells us at great length TWICE what Eliezer felt during this episode. His thoughts and feelings were not about him, they were about the mission. When we harness the ego in the service of something bigger than it, it becomes a powerful source to help us achieve that goal. When we focus our ego to service, then thoughts and feelings are liberating not exhausting.

Have you ever been involved in an event or activity in the service of others that required a lot of work on your part? Do you remember how when the mission was accomplished or the event completed and you were physically exhausted, at the same time you were exhilarated?! This is the idea of service being liberating.

This is what we as Jews are called upon to do since the time of Abraham and Eliezer. Live our lives, live good lives materially and spiritually, but all of it should be in the service of G-d and Humankind. It’s a sure way to live a liberating life!

Have a good Shabbos!


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