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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.
Artwork by Sefira Ross, 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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Discussion (14)
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 .
MLK
Brockton Ma
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.
Gary W. Harper
Saylorsburg, PA
November 29, 2016
Blessings!
Thank you for sharing this. You are so blessed!
Fetly
Ethiopia
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.
Gavriel Tornek
Brooklyn
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.
Yechiel
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 .
Mlk
Brockton Ma
November 19, 2016
sweet
Short and inspiring, thank you for sharing..
hadassah love
USA
November 18, 2016
this was very meaningful. Thank you
Anonymous
November 17, 2016
how to let go of a dream
So true. Thanks for your wise insights.
Edith Sher
South Africa
November 16, 2016
Excellent article and very well written! Thanks for posting!
Anonymous