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Shema-Ahavah Rabbah-Apter Rav

The 5th of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apt, the Ohev Yisrael: Our sages teach us that the world was created for the sake of Abraham. When there arose a desire in the Absolute Simplicity to emanate and create all universes, He was not forced to create, heaven forbid that this, or anything like it, enter the mind. Even before creation He was already, “Master of the universe, Who was Kingdom before anything was created (Adon Olam).”


The only reason that He created the universe was because of the great delight and pleasures that would exist before Him to the extent that we can express this, from the deeds of the righteous who would ultimately exist in the world that He would create.

These righteous individuals would enhance and publicize His Godliness and the holiness of His glorious, great and fearsome Name to all the inhabitants of the world. Everyone would then know and recognize that God alone is the Creator of all things, and the One Who gives them all existence. There is no other, and without His sustenance, Life Force and goodness, which is constantly bestowed upon all universes and everything in them, they would all revert to absolute nothingness. Everyone would also know of His great love and goodness, as well as His wondrous and fearsome deeds.

God had great pleasure and delight when He looked, saw and comprehended the deeds of the righteous who would live in the world in the future. It was because of this that He decided, in the absolute perfect Simplicity that was His original Will, to create all universes and bring them into existence.

It is written, “the world is built of love (Psalms 89:3).” This means, to the extent that we can express it, that God looked and perceived that a person like Abraham would come some day into existence, and do deeds of loving kindness with all the inhabitants of the earth. Through him, God’s love, as well as His greatness and excellence, would be publicized and made known to all the world.

This brought great delight and pleasure before God, to the extent that we can express this. With His original Will, He then created a world of love out of His Love for Abraham. It is for this reason that this is called, “The Love of the Holy Ancient One (Zohar 3:133b).”

The Hebrew word for “Ancient One” is Atik, which comes from the same root found in the verse, “And he transferred, va’ya’atek, from there (Genesis 12:8).” Because of the great delight that God had from the love that Abraham displayed in the world, He transferred some of His boundless and limitless Light, and left a place of blessing in which to bring a world of love into existence. (Ohev Yisrael, Chayei Sarah)

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