Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Avraham Avinu: You Never Know how Holy are the People You Meet

Let me tell you a story. During the Yom Kippur War we were playing in Hadassah
Hospital. When a soldier is wheeled in a wheelchair, you know that something, G-d forbid, is wrong with his feet. When a soldier walks in, you look at his hands. So, I see a soldier walk in, a Sephardic boy about eighteen years old. In his ordinary life he must have been a very simple boy! I see that nebech he has no hands. No arms. During the concert, I don’t know why. I started talking about Avraham Avinu. Suddenly he stops me and says: “Did you ever see

Avraham Avinu?” I say: “No, why do you ask?” So he says, “I’ll tell you later in private. ” After the concert he told me he wanted me to know his story. During the war, he and his friend were in the middle of battle, and they had to retreat a little. He suddenly saw that his friend was shot. His friend couldn’t move, but he was still alive. So this boy went back and picked him up, put him on his shoulders and ran with him

While he was running with his friend, he was shot himself. Both his arms were shot off. Do you know what he did? He said that even though he didn’t have strength. He kept his friend on his shoulders. Baruch Hashem. He saved his friend’s life. But now, he himself has no arms. He said to me: “I want you to know, Avraham Avinu sits on my bed every night, all night long.” Avraham Avinu!

How did this simple boy get so much holiness? Imagine if I would learn Torah day and night. For two thousand years, I could not reach that level of holiness. I could not. That is Avraham Avinu’s holiness.

Everybody asks, when G-d spoke to Avraham for the first time, why didn’t He tell him to keep Shabbos, to keep kashrut? Why did He immediately tell him, “Lech lecha -Go thou from thy land, and from thy father’s house?” G-d gave over to Avraham Avinu what this soldier knew – to leave everything behind you for G-d, for Israel, for somebody else. This awesome holiness comes from the deepest depths, from inside. This is what Avraham Avinu is all about.

Avraham Avinu saw everything until Mashiach. He saw this soldier also. He asked G-d, “How do I know that I shall inherit it…?” How can I inherit the holiness of this soldier?

When Mashiach comes it will be revealed to us how holy our children are. You never know, sometimes you see somebody and you don’t have the faintest idea of how holy they are inside. This is why our generation is so much in touch with the mystical part of the Torah, with the deepest secrets. This generation contains people who, from outside, look like nothing and yet, inside, they are completely holy.

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