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Jewish Journal

Lift Up Your Eyes and See

by Beit T'shuvah

October 18, 2013 | 12:06 pm

By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

The Bible has a phrase: "Lift up your eyes and see" and other variations on this theme. In the Torah this week, Abraham "lifted up his eyes and saw" three men standing over him/near him. I have been thinking about this idea and how many of us forget to do this.

The debacle in our nation's Capital these past 2+ weeks is an example of this. Our Congress saw what they wanted to and they did not lift their eyes up and see the whole picture. I am not singling out any faction, I am stating that it only took a small group of people to "lift up their eyes and see" the whole picture and find a solution. I applaud these people.

Because Abraham could "lift up his eyes and see," he was able to argue for the saving of Sodom and Gemorrah. When he couldn't lift up his eyes and see, he was willing to kill his own son! When he did lift up his eyes, he was able to see the Ram for the offering rather than Isaac.

This idea of getting past what we want and seeing everything through our own particular and peculiar lens is a challenge for all of us. We humans have a choice always to see the whole picture and/or to see only our own interests. We are created to be a need and to be needed. We have within us the ability to be cooperative, yet we are living lives of isolation, loneliness and narrowness. In many ways, we keep living in Egypt whenever we only see what we want to.

We all need to see how to lift up our eyes and see. We need to do this with our political views, our ways of being employers and employees. We need to lift up our eyes and see in our families and friendships. We need to see the whole story in our communities and argue for the decency that is within all human beings.

Lifting up our eyes and seeing forces us to be involved in our own redemption and in the redemption of those around us. Lifting up our eyes allows us to argue for the best solution and to not be discouraged by the result. This is why "lifting up my eyes and seeing" helps me stay Addicted to Redemption. I ask you to join me in "lifting up your eyes and seeing."

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