Posted on October 10, 2013 by AdAm Mayer
So many of us are Searching – see ourselves somewhere along our Jewish Journey. This post-modern cultural phenomenon with which we are all too familiar, I would argue, is not a modern ‘phenomenon’, rather began in ~1948 (~1813 B.C.E.) with Avraham. Or to put it another way, Avraham was the first to successfully share his Spirit to Search.
Where is this desire from? Is it learned? Intuited?
Before Avraham we hear of individuals who had relationships with G!d [Kayin, Enosh, Hanoh, Noah etc], who came to some sort of understanding that there is more to life than what meets the eye. But it was Avraham who had such clear understanding that he was able to share and teach. There are deep questions of existence, relationship and origin that can send you searching.
After discussing and hevruta-ing with my friend Matt Bar, and listening to his Bible Rap about the story of “Lech Lecha” it became clear that Avraham had found a relationship with G!D which included piety, fervor, accountability and devotion. A relationship centered around the Land of Israel. But it seems from the story that perhaps some of Avraham’s inspiration started with his father’s failed attempts. We know very few things about Terach, Avraham’s father. We know he left Ur Kasdim to go towards what is now the land of Israel, but got side-tracked and stopped in Haran, and also he is known in the Midrash as an idol maker.
There was something there, some desire or intuition that inspired Terach to create so many idols as he was searching for Something Greater. He felt something which convinced him to take his whole family and leave. Avraham also felt it, and in a stronger way than his father. Only Avraham was able to realize this desire, to experience G!D in the Holy Land of Israel, and share this with others.
I think we find throughout the recorded accounts of our People that everyone is always searching. Now we have teachers who “know how” to inspire us. The Spirit to Search has been defined and pre-programmed into Waze. There are guidebooks, maps, and alternative routes for those people Seeking.
Yet the prize, the Encounter with the Divine remains an individual experience, and leaves that individual with renewed power to inspire.