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Going It All Alone

by | Oct 26, 2012 | 0 comments

“Abraham was one, yet he inherited the land…” (Yechezkel 33; 24)

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Abraham was alone, he was lonely, he was only one. He was alone in his fight against paganism; he was alone on his march of monotheism; and he was alone in his profound understanding of the importance of kindness and how the world needs to share.

“Abraham worshipped God only because he was alone. Being alone was his form of worship. Being alone meant having no concern at all for what others were doing or thinking. He didn’t consider public opinion or his community that rebelled against G-d; he didn’t even consider his father or his family. It was as if he was the only one in the world. This is the meaning of, “Abraham was one…”

Anyone who wishes to do God’s will must be willing to be “one”. He must be able to tolerate being alone and lonely and not heed any distractions. When it comes to defending the truth one must even be willing to stand up to one’s father, mother, husband or wife and children.”
Rebbe Nachman of Breslav (Hashmotos to Tinyana)

Being an advocate for G-d and a truth monger is no easy task. One has to be willing to go it alone. One must endure and experience a profound sense of very painful loneliness. Whenever anyone discovers a new truth, he or she is alone, often ridiculed and dismissed. It is the way of a Tzadik or anyone adamant about the principals they believe to be true to experience this loneliness.

The Torah reports that not only Abraham was alone, but ten generations earlier Noach was a Tzadik who was also alone. He was the only one in his generation that understood that God’s creations have lost their way. He recognized that existential danger was imminent. As he built his Ark he was ridiculed by everyone who saw him. He was all alone.

Yet the difference between Noach and Abraham is astounding. Where did their aloneness take them?

Noach was able to save his family; Abraham changed the culture of the world.
Noach built a closed shelter to protect himself and his immediate family from disaster; Abraham built a tent that was open on all four sides and changed the thinking of the multitudes.
Noach ark had a window to let light in: Abraham’s tent had doors to let his light out.

Both were righteous Tzadikim and both survived the lonely pattern of truth. Yet, Noach couldn’t ground his truth, he was a Tzadik for himself. Abraham took his lonely truth and succeeded in bringing it to the world.

Abraham, not Noach, was our forefather and the founder of the Jewish people.


Sponsored by my old friends Lynda and Moshe Kadry in memory of Lynda’s Mother, Shirley G. Koenigsberg, ???? ?? ???? ????? ?”?

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbi Yaacov Haber has been a leading force in Jewish community and Jewish education for over forty years. He lived and taught in the United States, Australia and in Israel. He is presently the Rav of Kehillas Shivtei Yeshurun, a vibrant community in the center of Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel, and serves as the Rabbinic guide to many of its wonderful organisations.

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