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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Death of a nazir

Daf Yomi Nazir 8

Our forefather, Avraham, had done everything to devote his life to G-d.  Surely, the Almighty was ready to reward him abundantly for his efforts.  Indeed, he and Sarah had finally been blessed with a child in their very old age.  But just when he thought he was ready to sit back and enjoy G-d’s bounty, G-d calls upon him to sacrifice his child, Yitzchak.  Can you imagine the devastation he must have felt?  Everything he did for G-d, only to be slapped in the face with this?!

If a person declared, ‘I undertake to be a nazir as the number of the days of the sun,’ he has taken upon himself to be a nazir for 365 terms of thirty days, i.e. a total of thirty years. 
Rabbi Yehuda says:  Such a story once took place.  And when the fellow completed his term, he died.

Can you imagine this poor nazir?  He dedicates thirty years of his life to G-d and then he dies!  What kind of Divine justice is that?   Obviously, he passed on to the World of Truth and was able to understand G-d’s ways, but anyone who knew him would have totally lost their faith at that point.  They were all holding their invitations to the big party he was holding for the grand finale of his nazirism and he keels over and dies!

In Avraham’s case, of course, we know that the story has a revealed, happy ending.   But often in life, you don’t see the happy ending.  You do everything for G-d and he throws you a curve-ball.  You think that you should be on easy street by now, but life doesn’t seem to be getting simpler.  You’ve done everything right, but life continues to send its challenges.

Hang in there!  Keep your faith in the One above!  Sometimes, just like with Avraham, Hashem is sending you one final test before showering His bounty upon you!   Life is full of challenges, but don’t give up!  Don’t despair! 

The Almighty knows exactly what He is doing; everything He does is good.  Sometimes we see it immediately.  Sometimes we see it eventually.  And sometimes we don’t see it for generations.  But ultimately we will see that everything He did was for the good.  May you maintain your faith in the Almighty whatever challenges He sends your way!  

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