It is my pleasure to bring you a guest post; my thanks goes out to Laurie L., for writing about this week’s challenge!
I’m here to share with you the challenge for the week. Our Torah portion this week is Vayera. The section that struck me was in Genesis 18:16-33 where Abraham is pleading with Hashem to spare the city if there were found to be any righteous in it. Abraham begins with 50, then 45, then 40, then 30, then 20, and then finally 10. And our gracious Father says each time that He will spare it if there be found that many.
A favorite book of mine called, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life by Lois Tverberg, has a chapter called “Praying with Chutzpah,” in which she shares the boldness of prayer that Abraham had with Hashem. She also lists other examples of people who ask with, what she calls chutzpah, and calls their boldness in prayer a sign of their tremendous trust in Adonai.
G. shared with me this week a teaching she watched on fear, I watched it and began to think…what is it that fear does to me and the relationships in my life? Here’s what I wrote in my journal, “Fear keeps me from doing what Adonai wants me to do in love, it keeps me from being obedient, it prevents me from being who I am or want to be; fear hurts those around me. Perhaps that is something I need to look at this week? Proper fear of Adonai and proper love, obedience, faith, and emunah? –Cut the fear and pray with chutzpah!”
Today I looked up the word chutzpah and Google defines it as “shameless audacity; impudence.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to pray like that…isn’t there another way to be bold but humble in prayer? So I found this article that I really liked and they said in Hebrew there are 2 definitions of the English word “courage” one being chutzpah which they defined as “pushing your way to the front of the line” and the other being ometz lev or “stength of heart.” Here is a link to that article: http://www.aish.com/ci/s/Real_Courage.html
As we dove tail off of the previous weeks from bringing up the level of our homes, work on our speech, and stepping out in faith, i.e. doing something out of our comfort zones, this week, we could work on being fearless; instead of being afraid of what is going on or not going on around us, we could focus on learning to pray and fully engage our Father on behalf of those around us. I don’t know about you but if I was in Abraham’s shoes I would have been so emotional thinking of my nephew Lot! I would have been praying for sure, but would have been afraid and worried and had no peace! But when we read about how Abraham prayed he had emunah (faith) and really knew how to speak and plead with the right attitude with Hashem. My prayer is that through this week and this journey of life, that I (and all of us) would learn to quit with the “fear” thought process–no matter what comes our way and stop those thoughts of fear immediately–and instead think on truth and pray with ometz lev (strength of heart) just like our father Abraham.
There are so many examples beside the story of Abraham that we can glean from in the Scriptures, for instance, the woman who pleaded with Yeshua for healing for her daughter in Mathew 15:21-28. I hope our lives this week are deepened and enriched through prayer and emunah and that this expands our relationship with our Father and deepens our peace and relationship with those around us as we trust Adonai and His workings in the lives of everyone in our path.