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Home » The Shul Connection » Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

The Torah states: “And he (Avraham) trusted in G-d, and G-d reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6).

Why was Avraham’s trust in G-d considered to be righteousness? If G-d spoke to any of us, would we not have an unshakable faith? We do not have faith that there is a moon or that two plus two equals four. That which we see or understand does not require an act of faith.

The answer was given by Rabbi Mordechai of Lechovitz, who cited the Talmud that on a person’s Judgment Day he will be asked, “Did you transact in faith?” (Talmud Bavli, Shabbos 31a). This is usually understood as asking whether one transacted business honestly.

Rabbi Mordechai said that is has an additional meaning. When a person transacts in business, he negotiates and tries in every way to maximize his profit. He does not settle for a meager gain. This is what one will be asked on Judgment Day: “Did you transact in faith? i.e., did you do everything possible to maximize your faith, or did you just accept whatever you were given?

Abraham transacted in faith. He, of course, knew there was a G-d. He did not have to have faith in His existence. However, he tried to strengthen his faith by coming to an ever-greater knowledge of G-d.

Some people take their faith in G-d for granted. Of course, they believe that there is a G-d. However, they may not have gone beyond that to try to know more and more about G-d. We have great works available to us to increase our knowledge and therefore our faith and understanding of G-d. If we fail to do so, we will have no answer on Judgment Day when we are asked, “Did you seek to improve the quality of your faith? Did you transact in faith?

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