In the reading from the Prophets, the Haftarah, for the portion Lech Lecha, there’s an explanation about Abraham that could also be very beneficial to us. Abraham constantly faced challenges; nevertheless, not only did he get through them, more importantly, he became more infused with energy and excitement with each one.
The Midrash, to give us a picture of what the life of Abraham was like, uses the example of horses running upstream, constantly battling the water coming up against them. That, the Midrash says, was like Abraham’s life. However, rather than each challenge making Abraham weaker or more tired, each one actually made him more energized. Abraham did not feel the challenge, but the excitement and strength, growing from one battle to the next.
How is that possible? Most people, after they have gone through a challenge, are a little bit broken down, but still go on to face the next challenge, which then weakens them a little more, and so on. However, Abraham was different. He grew in strength from one challenge to the next.
So, this beautiful section in the Haftarah portion that we read on Shabbat Lech Lecha says that even young people, meaning those who have not had so many challenges thus far in their lives, get tired. Yet those who are connected to the Light of the Creator not only are able to get through the challenge, but also, their strength and excitement becomes doubled. Then, from the strength they get every single time they have overcome a challenge, they’re able, it says, to soar into the Heavens. And then, they become completely re-energized from moment to moment and challenge to challenge.
How are they able to do that? The great kabbalist, Rav Yisrael of Koznitz, explains that when an individual knows that what sustains him in each moment is the Light of the Creator, he sends that Light back to the Creator. The Creator, in turn, sends His Light back to that individual, creating a flow between them, thus rejuvenating him. In this individual’s consciousness, he is completely aware all the time that what is sustaining him each second is the Light that’s flowing to him from the Creator; it is that consciousness which leads to his becoming more excited, stronger, and energized.
As such, even though it says that those who don’t have so many challenges get tired, if we live with this consciousness - constantly appreciating the fact that what sustains us in each moment is Light from the Creator – we can not only get through the challenges, but actually become more excited and energized with each passing challenge. When we have this consciousness, we can have the constant rejuvenation of excitement and energy from the Light, and we are able to soar in our connection not only to the Light of the Creator, but also the Light in this world.
It is an incredible gift that is available to us on Shabbat Lech Lecha, if we ask for it. We can receive the gift of being constantly re-energized and re-infused with the Light of the Creator, regardless of what challenges we are facing or what is happening in our life. Having the consciousness that the Light of the Creator is what sustains us in every single moment, no matter what, gives us that strength, excitement, and elevation.