One of the uniquenesses of Man is that he was not created as a species like we find by the vegetation, the animals, the fish, and even the stars. Only one human being was created in the image of Hashem. Chazal tell us that the message Hashem was sending is that every individual is obligated to say that the world was created for him. חייב אדם לומר בשבילי נברא העולם. In other words Man has no duplication as far as what he must achieve during his lifetime. He cannot say that someone else can take his place and fulfill his task of bringing about the measure of kovid shamayim and divine consciousness that he is destined to actualize. Even the fact that Man’s name is called אדם and not איש גבר אנוש supports this concept for all of the three descriptions of Man possess a plural form in contrast to אדם which is only used in the singular.
However, on that very day of creation, Adam, “the one of a kind creature”, rebelled against his creator and experienced a colossal fallout with Hashem and the universe. He was no longer fit to actualize the אדם that Hashem fashioned him to be from the very beginning. As my Rebbi ztl expressed, Hashem therefore created a “detour” which would eventually lead to the desired goal prescribed for man. This detour is called Avraham Avinu and his descendants. Am Yisrael are the Second Edition of Man who lead their lives dedicated to fulfill the mission of repairing the downfall of Adam Harishon and the tikkun of the universe.
This is all alluded to in the first word of the Torah בראשית which can be read ב’ ראשית two beginnings. The word ראשית refers to Yisrael as stated in the first Rashi. Therefore In the word בראשית we have the allusion of the first and second beginnings. The letters of אר is the acronym אדם ראשון . The letters of אי is the acronym the Avos אברהם יצחק יעקב . The letters of יבש is יב שבטים and שבעים nefashos. The letters of שר ת is the acronym ששים רבוא ת שנים600,000 Yidden in Mitzrayim for 400 years. After the ת years of galus to Mitzrayim we merited to receive the ת of תורה at which time we repaired the First Edition of Manפסקה זוהמתן (Shabbos 146).
Let us continue with this train of thought. If Avraham was the Second Edition of Man, then he too must share with Adam Harishon the characteristic state of חייב אדם לומר בשבילי נברא העולם that I alone am the only one who can fulfill this task of restoring Hashem’s dwelling in His Kingdom of the world. Let us examine through the lens of Chazal how they saw this new beginning of the Second Edition.
The Medrash says (Bereishis Rabba 2,3)
אמר הקב”ה עד מתי יהא העולם מתנהג באפילה תבוא האורה ויאמר אלקים יהי אור זה אברהם הה”ד מי העיר ממזרח צדק אל תקרא העיר אלא האיר.
Hashem said that is already two thousand years since creation that the world dwells in darkness. When will the light finally appear? Hashem said let there be light. Let an Avraham come into the world who will enlighten it by his deep unflinching emunah in Me.
The Medrash says concerning Avraham Avinu (Bereishis Rabba 14, 6) נעשה אדם נאמר בעבורך the statement of “Let us make Man” was proclaimed just for you. This supports what Chazal say on the passuk אלה תולדות השמים והארץ בהבראםthat the letters of בהבראם spell באברהם (ibid 12,9). The Tiferes Shlomo writes in the name of the Zohar; that at the time of the creation of Man the angels said before Hashem מה אנוש כי תזכרנו what is the significance of Man that you would create an entire universe for him? Hashem responded that this universe is really for Avraham. It is worth creating the millions of galaxies just for such an individual. These same three angels who were originally against Man’s creation, were sent to Avraham Avinu after his Bris Milah in parshas Vayeirah in order for them to see the Second Edition of Man for whom the world was created. Only then did they agree with Hashem’s decision to create Man.
The Sifri on the passuk ימצאהו בארץ מדבר (Devarim 32,10) “You will find him in the desert” comments that the subject in this passuk is referring to AvrahamAvinu. What is Avraham doing in the desert? This is allegory to a king who went into the desert accompanied by his soldiers and the entourage suddenly deserted him leaving him to the forces of nature and all the robbers that would pass through. One soldier of the group remained and approached the king and said “Don’t let your heart fall and fearful because of the present desertion. I will stand here by your side and be with you until your return to the palace”.
The allegiance of this one soldier expressed a deep love to the king who was abandoned by everyone. The Darchei Noam תשעז writes Does this one soldier think for a moment that he can defend and protect the king from all the robbers and animals that could come and attack them? The truth is that this is not the soldier’s concern at all during this moment. Rather, he feels for the king who now remains without anyone. He can imagine how crestfallen and broken the king must be, realizing that he is without a kingdom because he has no loyal followers. The soldier’s present sole concern is to be mechazik the king, by promising to be by the king’s side no matter what the future holds, and this even one loyal individual alone can accomplish.
Only upon Avraham was ever bestowed the title of אוהבי My Lover (Yeshaya 41,8). While the entire world abandoned Hashem to serve other deities Avraham remained alone, a one of a kind, to be beside Hashem and proclaim Hashem as King. The Navi calls Avrahamאחד (Yehezkail 33,24). Avraham was the beginning of the Second Edition of Man. He was only one individual against all of mankind. While all civilizations abandoned Hashem, Avraham Hashem’s loyal lover remained by His side to preserve His Kingdom and keep it vibrant. Avraham could rightfully say בשבילי נברא העולם the world is my responsibility because no else was interested and willing to be committed to the task of spreading the Light of Hashem.
The Maharal from Prague in his sefer גבורות ה’ elaborates on the new historic beginning of Avraham Avinu and Am Yisrael. In chapter 5 he writes that Hashem redeemed Avraham from Uhr Kasdim אני ה’ אשר הוצאתיך מאור כשדיםwhich is a similar lashon used אנכי ה’ אלקיך אשר הוצאתיך מארץ מצרים. What these two places share in common is they both were the most decadent nations that existed. Concerning Uhr Kasdim Chazal tell us that Hashem regrets creating them (Succah 52). The reason why these two lofty holy entities were created and formed specifically in the תהו, void of the world is because they were new beginnings of the world and every beginning must come from a void and nothingness otherwise it cannot be considered a beginning.
Two times there was only one person in the world with his special mission. The first time was on the sixth day of creation when Hashem created Adam who was obligated to say בשבילי נברא העולם. Had he not transgressed Hashem’s command he would have fulfilled his mission and reap the rewards on the next day of Shabbos. Note that the gematriah of בשבילי נברא העולם is ביום שבת. The second juncture in history when the same scenario took place where there was one individual alone who was created for the purpose of בשבילי נברא העולם to actualize Hashem’s kingdom in the world, was by Avraham Avinu the second Edition of Adam. It was there at אור כשדים that Avraham stood loyally by the side of the deserted king Hashem in order for him alone to declare Hashem as King of the World even though it meant to surrender his life to the forces of those who deserted Hashem. It was then that Hashem committed Himself to become his King אשר הוצאתיך מאור כשדים. The gematriah of מאור כשדים equals the wordכתר עה”כ crown. Without any followers I cannot be king. You Avraham kept my kingdom כתר alive. (Berishis 15,18) ביום ההוא כרת ה’ ברית את אברם לאמר לזרעך.. Because of Avraham’s singular loyalty to make Hashem a king with a כתר Hashem was כרת the letters of כתר a covenant in receiving Eretz Yisraelas an eternal inheritance.
As descendants of Avraham Avinu he has implanted within everyone of us the feeling of the obligation of בשבילי נברא העולם. If we don’t feel it during the week we can feel it on ביום שבת which is the same gematriah. We have to do our best to end the detour and reach our destiny. The letters “de” is a prefix to different words and it means to go away or off. A detour was not meant to be enjoyable when one has to reach his destination as soon as possible. Don’t take the detour and relish in its sights and pleasures as if you were on a “tour” vacation. It is בדיעבד not לכתחילה . It is detour remember. Galus is a detour within a larger detour and we must get out of it as soon as possible.