You never know…

“Abraham rose up from the presence of his dead” (his wife Sarah) Genesis 23:3.

The Radomsker Rebbe understood this passage according to a teaching by Rabbi Eliezer cited in Pirkei Avot 2. Rabbi Eliezer would always say we should do Teshuvah (repent and return to G-d) one day before we die. His students were puzzled and asked: We don’t know when we’re going to die!?

He said: Exactly! Therefore, engage in Teshuvah today because you never know what your last day will be. That way, you’ll dedicate your entire life to improving and trying to get close to Hashem!

So, Rabbi Yechezkel of Radomsk said that Abraham’s ability to “rise up” – all his spiritual progress, was due to his always being conscious that each day might be his last. The presence of his death was always before him.

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