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.
In order to be able to see the Light and blessings from the important spiritual actions we do, we have to make sure our ego does not become involved. When we want people to know what we have done – and respect us for it – we render our spiritual actions almost worthless.
This requires constant awareness, as the ego is very dangerous and constantly on the lookout for ways to come into the situation.
This idea is perfectly illustrated in a famous story about Rav Zusha of Anipoli.
I'm always looking for stories to inspire myself and my students, and the following is one such story. Keep it in your heart and it will push you to do amazing things:
Hundreds of years ago there was a group of homeless men that traveled from town to town in search of food and shelter. Usually they managed to scrape by, but not this one time. For weeks on end they found themselves without a morsel to eat.
One day they were sitting in the middle of the forest, brainstorming on how to find food. The head homeless man came up with an idea.