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Parshas Vayeitzei

A Diamond of Holiness

By Rabbi Label Lam

And behold! HASHEM was standing over him, and he said, "I am HASHEM the G-d of Abraham, your father and G-d of Isaac…" (Breishis 28:13)

And the G-d of Isaac: Even though we don't find in scripture that HASHEM attaches His Name with the righteous while they are alive saying "the G-d of So and So…" because it says (Job) "Even his righteous ones he doesn't completely trust…" Here though He attaches His Name to Isaac because he was blind, he was locked in his house, he was like dead, and the evil inclination has ceased from him.(Rashi)

This Rashi is based on an amazing concept. Nobody is entirely secure and trustworthy and counted a success until it's over, just as the Mishne in Pirke Avos states, "Do not rust in yourself until the day of your death!" Only one dispensation was granted to Isaac for the four reasons lifted above.

I once heard from a great person that all four reasons needed to be present. If he had not been blind he might see something that could have awakened his evil inclination. Had he not been locked his house even though he was blind, a sound or a smell could accost him and cause him to loose his reliability. Had he not been almost dead and the evil inclination beaten entirely way from then some kernel or germ of negativity might leave its toxic mark on his soul. Only now that all these conditions prevailed could The Almighty associate His Name with him in his life time.

King Solomon writes in Proverbs, "From all the things you guard, protect your heart (mind) because from it flows out life!" Yes the source of all our happiness and success and failures perceived and otherwise are produced in the mind. As we think so are we. No wonder King Solomon, the wisest of all men, cautioned that from all the things we watch like our money, and our health, and our reputation, and our children etc. guard that garden called the mind. It is the fount of all other good things.

It is known that we think approximately 60,000 thoughts a day. These more positive and productive those thoughts the more positive and productive we will become. I have had the experience of offering a blessing for marriage to a single guy or gal and gotten some bahhh humbug look rather than a resounding AMEN! Perhaps I had and I have had a certain person in my mind but the enthusiasm for mentioning it wanes based upon their reaction. This happens in many areas in life. Those thoughts that grow into habits of attitude and action change the course of conversations and business opportunities as well.

What does one do when flooded with worry and jealousy and fear and pessimism and the like? Rabbi Klonimus Kalman Shapiro ztl. The Aish Kodesh, adised not to fight it with force. That makes problems. It's like putting lighter fluid on a fire. When you tell someone not to worry or be angry it's like telling them not to think about a pink elephant. I bet you just thought about a pink elephant! Right!? Rather he suggests that we look at our thoughts as they stream by and be conscious of them without judgment or ranker. The negative ones will begin to run away in shame withy the light of your consciousness gazing at them the way that cockroaches run when the kitchen light goes on.

Isaac our great patriarch made sure to do what he could to preserve the treasure he had gained in his lifetime right up until the very end. Can we even imagine it? Every one of his 60,000 thoughts each day was a diamond of holiness.


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 

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