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How to Let Go of a Dream

How to Let Go of a Dream

What Abraham Taught Us About Commitment

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Have you ever made great plans that went down the drain?

Did you ever dream big, only to realize that it was just a dream?

Were you excited about your ambitions, and then shocked, surprised and maybe even defeated when they didn’t come to fruition?


In the beginning of our prayers every morning, we read about the Akeida. It’s the story of a father being ready to sacrifice his only son to fulfill G‑d’s will.

This is how it started.

Abraham and Sarah did not have children for many years. But they held on tightly to G‑d’s promise that they would have a child who would be the start of a great nation.

You can only imagine Abraham and Sarah’s joy when Isaac was born to them in their old age. You can only imagine the love they had for their only, long-awaited son, and the dreams they had for him, and for the great nation that was to be.

But time passed. Isaac was 37 years old. He was not married. There was no nation yet. And one fine day, G‑d told Abraham: “Take your only son, the one that you love, and go where I will show you. There you should offer him up as a sacrifice.”

Hold on. If Abraham would offer Issac as a sacrifice, what would happen to the promised great nation? Why would G‑d give Abraham dreams, only to crush them?

But Abraham stood strong in his faith, ready to follow G‑d’s instructions. And then, just as Abraham was about to slaughter his son, an angel stopped him, and forbade him from harming Isaac with even a scratch.

G‑d acknowledged Abraham’s faithfulness and blessed him abundantly. And the next day, life was back to normal.

Wait, what? What kind of game was G‑d trying to play with Abraham?

After the angel stopped Abraham from harming Isaac, G‑d told Abraham: “You did not withhold your only son, the one you love, from Me.” G‑d had found what he was looking for: Abraham’s unwavering commitment, his absolute faith.


Sometimes, we get so caught up with running our lives and dreaming big for ourselves. We think we know what’s best for us, and we think we know what we’re best for. We’re running towards our glorious future.

And then, G‑d says: “Take what you love most, and go where I will show you.”

The best path in life is G‑d’s path.

Sometimes, G‑d sends us a little reminder that He is in charge, that He knows best. And He does. He knows an even better best than the one we were imagining. G‑d has bigger dreams for us than we do. All we have to do is show G‑d our unwavering commitment.

And you know what, once G‑d found this commitment from Abraham, Isaac went home unscathed, and Abraham was blessed even more than he had been before this test.

At the end of the day, when we commit ourselves to following G‑d’s path, G‑d is on our side.

Gitty Adler was raised in Bournemouth, England, where her parents are Chabad Emissaries. She and her husband currently live in Brooklyn, where she teaches.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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MLK Brockton Ma January 12, 2017

Staying true Yechiel Beautiful I agree with you completely . Thank you for this their is a lot to absorb but there are also many ways of reading into what you wrote . Reply

Gary W. Harper Saylorsburg, PA December 6, 2016

I was once asked, if I thought that I could be a father of nations? While I see how that is always possible? I am now 61, and childless.

But it has never been one of my dreams, to be the father of many.

I will say, that most of my dreams have come true. And I have yet to let go of a single one, no matter how much it seems that they will never happen. With Hashem, all things are not only possible, but are guaranteed - If you can understand how the dream has already been fulfilled.

So, I let go of nothing...

I have already been given more than almost everyone who was ever born, has seen. How I merit this? Is unexplainable, to anyone else. But Hashem, Has Always Been - Right Here, For me.

I have never asked for anything physical for myself. Not that I can remember, anyway. And I Have Seen Many Spiritual Blessings - I am certain, it is precisely because of that.

The Right Thing, Asked For In the Right Way, For the Right Reason? Is Always Immediately Given, Unto the physical world. Reply

Fetly Ethiopia November 29, 2016

Blessings! Thank you for sharing this. You are so blessed! Reply

Gavriel Tornek Brooklyn November 27, 2016

@staying true to your objective I understand your point however it is written that Gd said to Avrohom, "viha'aleihu sham li'Olah". Olah is a sacrifice or a burnt offering. He did listen to the details. Reply

Yechiel November 22, 2016

Staying true to the objective. We have in the Torah three I see, or four as I see them; Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses. To make it short; I see some of Torah as G-d communicated with these men.
Adam, he let himself accept what Eve told him. She did not have the communication from G-d. so Adam did not think they were violating His commandment to not eat a certain fruit. So they learn, and we, through them, to pay attention to details.
Noah brought all together as G-d told him, so success nd the continuation of Humanity.
Now, we come to the "historical" part; Abram and Moses.
Abram was told to leave his place of birth, and go where he would be purged of the sins of his birth place. When tested, he accepted that he was told to sacrifice, not offer. Abram failed the test, and would have made a human sacrifice. After that, G-d no longer spoke to Abram directly, but through an angel. He did not pay attention to an important detail Moses, paid attention. Reply

Mlk Brockton Ma November 19, 2016

How to let go of a dream Some people are natural dreamers that's how they see life. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our pleasant dreams came true. But this not realistic . Wee Willy Winky enjoyed what you wrote I agree with you . But every body sees life in many other ways some see life through rose colored glass . People have there own way of thinking . Reply

hadassah love USA November 19, 2016

sweet Short and inspiring, thank you for sharing.. Reply

Anonymous November 18, 2016

this was very meaningful. Thank you Reply

Edith Sher South Africa November 17, 2016

how to let go of a dream So true. Thanks for your wise insights. Reply

Anonymous November 16, 2016

Excellent article and very well written! Thanks for posting! Reply

Wee Willy Winky Florida Keys November 16, 2016

The hospitality of double portions and going for the "strike" that rocks: to reach those out of reach The question today when it comes to listening versus hearing, reading versus action is the practice to thoroughly enjoy to reach to others no matter where and what, or any limiting scope. A story teller Bubba shared with some over a sabbatical journey: "the Smorgasbord of blessings". Bubba asked those listening a question: Can we afford rationing our blessings by continuing to use the smaller scope? Observing an opportunity means taking our limited thinking to reach farther. Is it realistic to select those easy mitzvahs versus those we consider out there? Don't we know that to inconvenience ourselves for Hashem is exactly positioning ourselves to go for the jackpot of blessings? Abraham was pretty modern in his day, I suppose some were really thinking he lost his marbles doing above and beyond what was asked him. He actually enjoyed walking towards the stranger and really made him feel truly welcome. Who knows it could have been Elijah we dissed, who visited the shul midweek.
Quality Reply

David Chester Petach Tikva, Israel November 16, 2016

What Happens to a Dream Deferred? Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

from Lenox Avenue Mural(Harlem) by Langston Huges Reply

jim dallas November 15, 2016

with G-d on my side....bob dylan? G-d did not hurry isaac's fate, ab grew impatient, 'let me see if somthing is in the works for my isaac', G-d said 'STOP'! Reply

valerie June 28, 2016

A new begining thank you Gitty Reply