Vertluch: Parshas Vayeira


It’s interesting to note that when the Malachim came to Avraham and he served them meat the pasuk says ‘V’el habakar ratz Avraham- which means ‘..and to the cattle Avraham ran.’ We see that Avraham went himself and delivered the meat. However, when Avraham wanted to bring the guests water, he tells Yishmael to bring it as the pasuk says ‘yukach nah m’at mayim’.  We see here that Avraham had it brought through a shaliach. The gemarah (bava metzia 86b) says on this that whatever Avraham did himself Hashem did for bnei Yisroel generations later himself. Just as Avraham brought meat to the guests himself so too midah k’neged midah Hashem gave us the Ma’an in the midbar himself and not through a shaliach. But, what Avraham had brought through a shaliach Hashem did the same generations later. Just as Avraham had the water brought through a shaliach, Yishmael, so too the water that Hashem provided for us generations later came through a shaliach; through Moshe and the rock.

The gemarah implies that there was a tayna on Avraham. Why did Avraham send someone else for the water and not go get it himself? Why did he ask Yishmael?

There are two Ha’aros on this gemarah:

One Ha’arah is that Rashi (bava metzia 18b) says the reason why Avraham asked the water to be brought through a shaliach, Yishmael, was to be mechanech him how to act when guests come. If this is so, how can the gemarah have a tayna on Avraham? L’maaseh he did it for chinuch?So the Kotzker Rebbe answers an important yesod and says that the greatest form of chinuch is for a child to see his father doing it himself. Had Avraham done it himself Yishmael would have observed him doing it himself and that would’ve been the greatest form of chinuch a person can possibly give over to his child. You want your child to learn from you? Let him see YOU doing it. Parents want their children to learn but do they see their parents learning at home? If a parent wants to teach their children something they should start by doing it themselves and allowing their child to watch them do it. That, says the Kotzker, is the greatest form of chinuch.

A second Ha’arah is, we know that Avraham Avinu was the pillar of chessed, performing countless acts of chessed. Why was it this specific act, this incident of the malachim that Avraham was being judged on where Hashem says ‘I will do to your children just as you did for these malachim.  That which you did on your own I shall do on my own and that which you did through a shaliach I shall provide for your children through a shaliach too.’ Why is Avraham being judged on this specific incident?

Reb Aaron Leib Shteinman, Shlit”a offers an explanation and says at the time the malachim came Avraham was a choleh, it was his third day since his bris milah; the most painful day of his procedure and he had all the excuses in the book as to why he can’t have guests right now and why he’s not ‘up to’ doing chessed, Yet, he did; and THIS defined exactly who Avraham was. A man who was a choleh going out of his way to invite and feed guests-this was Avrahams true colors and that’s why Hashem chose to judge him at this point; it was the ultimate act of chessed. Nonetheless Hashem is still medagdaik k’chut hasaroh on the actual performance of the mitzvah.

Most of the world had the zechus of knowing Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel Zt’l. Everyone knew how the Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l didn’t take any medication to treat his parkansis. Learning was most important to Him; more important to Him than making sure He wouldn’t shake. The Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l had every excuse to tell people ‘now is not a good time’ or ‘maybe you can come back later.’ Those words didn’t exist in His vocabulary. Every yachid was treated as if he is the only interest to the Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l at the time they were speaking to him. I was zoche to have a chavrusashaft with the Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l-we were once in middle of learning and in walked an Israeli family with their 3 year old son for an upsherin. The Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l didn’t even say a word. A huge smile broke out on his face and he took the scissor and cut a piece of the boy’s hair. As soon as he was done, he got up and with tremendous pain he made his way to the kitchen. He came back out with a small round container of candy, opened it and put it in front of the boy that he could take from it himself. The boy stuck his little hand in and took 2 candies. The Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l just sat there smiling the entire time. Not one word was uttered. As soon as the family left we continued the next word of Torah. There was nothing to more to do than what already done-now back to learning. It was as if it didn’t just happen. From young to old, the Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l made time for everyone and allowed them to feel that special 1 on 1 kesher with him. It was amazing to see such a gadol not be embarrassed to tell me he doesn’t know how to translate a word into the English language! For most people (forget their stature), I would think it would be embarrassing to tell someone that; not the Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l.

The word that comes to mind when thinking of the Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l is Emes. Kulo Emes-with everything and everyone.

Klal Yisroel suffered a major blow; there’s so much to say; there’s so much to write…

May the Rosh Hayeshiva Zt’l be a mailatz yosher for his family and for klal Yisroel and beseech rachamai shomayim asking Hashem to end the galus and bring Moshiach right away.