Vertlach: Parshas Vayeira


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Theדבר תורה  is לזכות רפואה שלימה ל-אברהם בייניש בן גאלדה שפרינצה.
ולאה בת חנה
And לזכר נשמת ר’ אברהם בן שמחה זצ”ל
ר’ חיים בן ר’ צבי ארי-ה זצ”ל
ר’ יחיאל יהודה בן ר’ אברהם מרדכי הכהן זצ”ל
ור’ אליהו מרדכי זצ”ל בן ר’ אברהם יעקב נ”י
This weeks email is sponsored in honor of the occasion of the yartzheit of הרב אברהם בן שמחה זצ”ל. May his neshama have an aliyah. would like to wish a very special Mazel Tov to Mr. & Mrs. Shamai Goldstein on the recent Bar Mitzvah of their son, Yisroel Tzvi, and on the upcoming marriage of their daughter. May they be zoche to continue making simchos be”h.
When Hashem was preparing to annihilate Sedom, He makes a decision to inform Avraham of his plans. He tells Avraham that they are an appalling and corrupt place and the only way to put a stop to this is to obliterate the entire city. Avraham acts as a defender for Sedom and asks Hashe, if he will spare the city’s destruction, if he could find 50 righteous people.  Hashem answers he would, and as we see in the pasukim 50 righteous individuals were not found. He then proceeds to ask Hashem how about 45 people and 40 and 30 and 20 and 10, etc…
There seems to be a discrepancy in the loshon that is used in the pasuk. When Avraham asked Hashem to save Sedom should He find either 40 or 30 tzadikim, the pasuk uses a loshon of ‘lo e’eseh’, I will not do anything.  Why? Because the zechusim of 50 tzadikim was significant enough to hold back the wrath of Hashem. But when Avraham asks Hashem if He can find either 20 or 10 people the pasuk says ‘lo ashchis’, I will not destroy. This implies that there will be some type of calamity but that Hashem will not completely wipe out the city. This was due to the fact that there was not a significant amount of tzadikim there to hold back Hashems wrath. However, by forty five people the pasuk uses the same loshon of ‘lo e’eseh, I will not destroy, that was used by 20 or 30 people. Given the amount of tzadikim there, shouldn’t the pasuk have used the loshon of ‘lo e’eseh’, I will not do anything, just as it used it by 40 and 30?
The Meshech Chochma answers with a yesod for us all to learn from.
In Pirkei Avos it says ‘know who will you stand before and before whom you will give a DIN and CHESHBON’. What are these two things? Din, we know, is judgment. What is cheshbon? The GR”A writes that cheshbon is,  that you get punished not only for the misdeed you committed but also for the mitzvah you could’ve done and did not carry out. These are the two elements in every judgment. One is that you did the actual misdeed and the second is that you did not do a mitzvah.
Now make the following computation. Avraham says ‘maybe there are forty five tzadikim in Sedom…’ forty five divided by five, for the five cities within Sedom, comes out that there are nine righteous people for each of the five cities.  Says the Meschech Chochma, if that scenario is true that there were only nine tzadikim in their city, then they are only one short. Every person, besides those nine, could have been the tenth man had they applied themselves. Becoming the tenth tzaddik, could have saved an entire city. Yet, nobody moved and no one changed! At forty five people the punishment was more severe, because the Ribono Shel Olam took into consideration that each person had the responsibility to be the tenth tzaddik. From the fact of reality that they didn’t, their penalty was much greater. If there were forty people and each city only had eight tzadikim then people can say even if I’m the ninth, how do I know there will be a tenth? But by nine tzadikim, no one felt the urge and desire to improve themselves and to save the city. Therefore, their punishment was greater.
Every person has to understand, that what he does can affect more people than he thinks. If someone has the opportunity to participate in the enhancement of kovod shem shomayim and its attainable, yet he decides to pass on it, that creates destruction. They had nine people in the city! There should have been one person there who felt a responsibility to be the tenth to be mekadesh shem shomayim!
May we all be zoche to not only realize when opportunities are knocking at our door but to also grab and act on them; and IY”H by doing so we can prevent future misfortune in the world.
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