Posted in Breishit on Sunday, 26 June 2011.

“Abraham approached God” (18:23)


Since Avraham excelled in the attribute of kindness, it is somewhat surprising to find that he “spoke harshly” with God, arguing aggressively for the salvation of Sodom (Rashi v.23).

This teaches us that, when faced with the task of saving another’s life, a person may be required to overcome his natural disposition and personality, and take radical action. Thus Avraham, whose nature was to be only kind and polite, managed to gather the courage (“he entered himself”) to act in a manner of harshness and severity, in an attempt to save lives.

This also applies to the spiritual life of our fellow Jew. If one sees another Jew “drowning” spiritually, due to a lack of Jewish education, one should make every effort to help him—even if this entails an act which is out of character with one’s personality.

(Based on Likutei Sichos vol. 10, pp. 58-59)

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