Ohr Hachayim Genesis: Lech Lecha
The Man Without Fear
“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear;
as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”
– General Douglas MacArthur
The Wise Men of Marvel Comics, in their marketing wisdom, subtitled their superhero Daredevil, “The Man Without Fear.” Now Daredevil was not particularly powerful. He couldn’t fly. He didn’t have super-strength, was as fragile as any other mortal and had no special powers. His only unusual ability was that he had an internal radar/sonar that let him know what was going on around him. This was particularly useful to him, as besides not having conventional superpowers, Daredevil was also legally blind.
Despite his limited super-abilities, the character of Daredevil was truly fearless. He tackled armies of goons, the biggest crime-lords in the city, and of course powerful super-villains. All he was armed with was his billy-club, his radar-sense, his fighting and athletic prowess and his faith.
The Ohr Hachayim talks about another man with no fear. Our Patriarch Abraham. Armed with just his faith in God, Abraham leaves his home, his country, his people and ventures forth to an unknown destination. According to the Ohr Hachayim (Genesis 12:3), it was this faith, this fearlessness, that made Abraham blessed.
Not only was Abraham blessed, but he was perhaps the most blessed of all mortals. His blessing would be eternally powerful. Those who bless him and his spiritual descendants are in turn blessed, and the descendants likewise carry this power to bless. It only depends on one thing. Faith. And to achieve that faith, we need to let go of fear.
May we achieve faith, fearlessness and blessing and follow some of the footsteps of Abraham (or Daredevil).
To some of the fearless women in my life:
To Tamara, for her fearless and successful recruiting mission to England (she is now the Assistant Director of Midreshet Tzvia – some of you may also recognize her inspiration in this week’s story).
To my mother, for yet another move to a strange new land – Geneva!
To my grandmother, for a quick recovery from her hospitalization – please pray for Zahava bat Sa’ada Tichye.