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This week, we read about Abraham, who, according to the kabbalists, is the channel for unconditional love and sharing in this world. The Bible tells us how, when anyone came to visit him, he’d sit them under the tree outside his home; if the tree fanned its leaves out, Abraham knew the person was good and could be trusted. If the leaves did not move, then he knew the person might have had a problem or two. And so we read: “Come, please. Sit, join me. Shade yourself under my tree.” Interestingly, the particular tree that the Bible talks about was a date palm.
I’m not sure if you know, but date palms are dioecious, meaning that there are date palms with male flowers and date palms with female flowers. If you want to grow a palm tree, you need to have both a male and female tree. They need to be united in order to bear fruit.
For us, it is very much the same way. Spiritually speaking, by ourselves we are vastly limited in our capabilities. Sure, we can survive on our own, but we cannot achieve real fulfillment and “bear fruit” without others. This is because fulfillment doesn’t come from feeding the small desires of “me” alone, but rather from reversing our energy from taking to giving.
You might have seen this story that I just read in the news about a man who stopped to help two women whose car had a flat tire on a remote Wisconsin highway. Just minutes after this Good Samaritan got back into his car and continued driving, he started to have a heart attack. Almost immediately, the women whom he had just helped were able to pull over, perform CPR, and save his life. Had this man not stopped to assist with their tire, it is unlikely that there would have been anyone on the road to help him. Basically, because he went out of his way to help two strangers, his life was saved. This incredible story clearly shows us the value of mercy and the spiritual power of sharing. We never know the ramifications of even the smallest actions we take.
When we are a part of something bigger than ourselves or when we inject sharing into our daily actions, we can actually rise above the things that hold us down: heaviness, depression, procrastination, anger, and even—as in the case of our modern-day Good Samaritan—death. Mercy is our umbilical cord to life. The unity we create with others is what activates the universe and produces the “fruit” and blessings in our lives.
It is said that Abraham was the most kind and generous person that has ever walked this earth. Still, the path was never easy for him. In his life, he went through many trials. There were times when he practically had no rest, and he was constantly moving from place to place. Nevertheless, he was a man of action—a doer. The Bible tells us that even in the heat of the day when he was once experiencing excruciating physical pain, he was still waiting for people to welcome into his home so he could do acts of kindness for them.
There is so much energy in this universe, so much potential for spiritual fruits: blessings, happiness, love, and transformation. However, this energy cannot be intiated in this physical world without the energy of Abraham—without the aspect of sharing.
This week, let’s try in simple ways to include others in our daily comings and goings. Let’s try to find ways to inject mercy into even our smallest actions. Perhaps you can make the effort to hold the door for the person behind you, to smile more in the office, to complete those thank-you cards you’ve been meaning to write, or to go out of your way to listen to a friend. We must never forget that the Light will provide the opportunities if we are open to them.