Yesterday, at shul, I was blessed to witness something downright stunning.

I think it was after the Kriah, when all present in shul rose up, that I looked around at who was there.  

What met my eyes was incredible; the shul was fuller than I’ve seen it in a very long time.  And who was the crowd constituted of?  Yidden and a few gentiles (people looking into Judaism, and a guest of my aunt’s), Sefardim and Ashkenazim, converts, Baalei Teshuvah, frum-from-births, and all ages from babies to seniors.

Our community’s rabbi pointed out yesterday, before reading the Haftorah, that this piece from Navi speaks about the sole mission of all mankind:  to know and proclaim Hashem’s existence, sovereignty, and glory. 

How this call of the Navi was reflected in those very moments by the congregation, was shocking.  Moshiach is most surely on our threshold!  To quote a beautiful song a friend of mine wrote:  “Waiting and waiting and waiting some more, but I know you’ll be here, to open the door.” 

I also remembered a lesson connecting last’s week’s parsha of Noach with Lech Lecha.  The Dor HaFlaga (Generation of the Dispersal) gathered and joined forces from the 70 nations (who would afterwards be dispersed), and they sought to achieve a unified goal:  “Na’aseh Lanu Sheim – To make a name for ourselves”.  But what was G-d’s issue with this?  It was because their efforts still bore the traces of avodah zarah, that hadn’t been totally washed away with the Dor HaMabul (Generation of the Flood).  They wanted to make a name for themselves, and establish their legacy.  This gross act of self-aggrandizement and self-centeredness was truly defiance, in essence, of Hashem.  They had their own agenda, and Hashem was either being battled against, or pushed out of the picture.  This is what the nations put their energies towards.  Who could possibly rise up and counter these vain and destructive ideologies?  The solution was a man who strove and struggled to create a legacy– for Hashem.  A man who spent his entire life in coming to know and be a vessel and chariot for Hashem.  A man, who also erected monuments, altars (instead of towers), and vayikra b’sheim Hashem – He called out in the name of Hashem!

This was Avraham Avinu, who spread knowledge of Hashem as the One and Only G-d, to the entire world.

And indeed, this is what was taking place in our little shul yesterday.  “B’rav-am hadras haMelech – The King’s glory is in a multitude of people” {Mishlei/Proverbs 14:28}.  The soul of Avraham Avinu (and Sarah Imeinu!) was coursing through the sanctuary, resonating powerfully in every breath and every word that was  given forth.  So many different people, from so many backgrounds, and even a couple from different faiths– a microcosm of the enormous and vibrant span of humanity– but all were united in a house of G-d, calling out b’Sheim Hashem!