And Hashem said, “Shall I conceal from Avraham what I do...” (Genesis 18:17)

The Chasam Sofer (Teshuvos, Intro. to Vol. II) explains that the lofty level of prophecy that Avraham achieved would not have been naturally possible, because he had spent an extraordinary amount of time concerning himself with the ruchnius (spirituality) of others. 

While his more advanced students didn’t really present a distraction, the needs of the beginners were such that he certainly couldn’t spend many straight hours in quiet meditation, and this is a prerequisite for prophecy (see Ramchal’s Derech Hashem 3:4:4 for more details). 

Therefore, Hashem revealed to him great mysteries anyway, because the only reason Avraham wasn’t properly prepared to receive this was not because of any soul-level flaw of his, but because he was busy furthering Hashem’s agenda and making Him known to the masses. 

In fact, this is the deeper meaning of the phrase cited above, “Shall I conceal from Avraham what I do?” 

The answer from Hashem was an emphatic, “No!”  This was indeed a rhetorical question.  

We see from here that if a person does his utmost to develop himself spiritually, but is unable to press even further due to his involvement with the needs of his fellow Jews, Hashem will not penalize that individual in terms of his spiritual development. 

Instead, Hashem will grant this individual disproportionate Siyata Dishmaya (Divine assistance) and assist him in progressing from level to level. 

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Bregman is an internationally recognized Torah scholar, #1 best-selling author, matchmaker, entrepreneur, attorney, and media personality. His energetic and empowering messages currently reach over 350,000 people per week via social media, NYC radio, and newspaper columns worldwide. His website is and his email is [email protected]   

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