1 – Topic – A Vort on the Parsha from the Ohr Gedalyahu
As we prepare for Shabbos Parshas Lech Lecha. I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the Parsha. Let’s start from the very beginning of the Parsha. The Nisayon of Lech Lecha, HKB”H told Avraham to travel to Eretz Yisrael, to Eretz Canaan.
The first Nisayon of the 10 Nisyonos that Avraham Avinu had was not Lech Lecha but the prior Nisayon of Ur Kasdim. Avraham Avinu was thrown into a fire in Ur Kasdim because he refused to bow to Avoda Zorah. That was really his very first Nisayon, however, as opposed to (לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ) Lech Lecha Mai’artzecha, the first Nisayon is not mentioned clearly in the Torah. The Torah doesn’t say that this whole episode happened and the question is why. The Torah is already telling us about the other Nisyonos why doesn’t it say this particular Nisayon, the Nisayon of Ur Kasdim? That needs an explanation and I would like to share with you an answer.
Before I get to answering that, we also had at the end of Parshas Noach the death of Terach and as a matter of fact the Parsha ends with as is found in 11:32 (וַיָּמָת תֶּרַח, בְּחָרָן) Vayamos Terach B’choron with the death of Terach. Rashi tells us that Terach really died much later because he lived 205 years. However, the Torah doesn’t want to make it sound like Avraham left his elderly father and traveled to Eretz Canaan so (הקדים הכתוב מיתתו של תרח ליציאתו של אברם, שלא יהא הדבר מפורסם לכל).
Here the Ramban is Matmia and there are many Meforshim who say what do you mean what about the underlying question of how did Avraham leave Terach? If there is an answer then it is not necessary to fool us and tell us (וַיָּמָת תֶּרַח, בְּחָרָן). The Torah is not in the habit of fooling us. So this Rashi needs an explanation as well. So there are two questions, why is Ur Kasdim hidden from us and why is the death of Terach mentioned in a way that apparently misleads us.
I would like to share with you a thought from the Ohr Gedalyahu on Parshas Lech Lecha (Os Beis on page 21). Before I do that I want to tell you that in general it seems that the Ohr Gedalyahu has a Shittah in at least a couple of places (In Parshas Bo, Page 25, Os Gimmel for example – (עשר מכות – עשרה מאמרות)) that things that we find in the number 10 let’s say 10 Makkos or 10 Nisyonos, correspond to the Asara Mamaros She’b’hem Nivra Ha’olam. The world was created with 10 utterances, 10 Dibburim Kavayochel of HKB”H, and when we find things that are 10 for example the Ohr Gedalyahu says that the 10 Makkos were K’negged (they were opposite) the 10 Mamaros in reverse order and just like the Asara Mamaros hid the presence of Hashem the 10 Makkos revealed the presence of Hashem. Therefore, he explains that the 10 are K’negged the 10. How he goes through them you will have to wait and see until we get to the Makkos.
Returning to our Parsha, the Ohr Gedalyahu says that 10 Nisyonos of Avraham were K’negged the Asara Mamaros She’b’hem Nivra Ha’olam. Meaning to say, Avraham through passing the Nisyonos created a new Metzi’os, a new birth of Avraham Avinu which was of course the beginning in Klal Yisrael.
The Ohr Gedalyahu says that when Avraham Avinu was thrown into Ur Kasdim it wasn’t that he went into a fire and it didn’t affect him and he walked out. Ur Kasdim was a furnace, a kiln that created a change in Avraham Avinu from the old Avraham Avinu into the new Avraham Avinu. It was an Avraham Avinu who through Mesiras Nefesh changed himself into a different person.
The same thing, the 10 Makkos in Mitzrayim they changed Klal Yisrael. Why are they K’negged the Asara Mamaros? It was a Shinuy, it was a change. Klal Yisrael became a different nation, a newborn nation by being able to go through the experience of Mitzrayim.
So Rav Gedalya Schorr says that is why it says here in 15:7 that HKB”H says (אֲנִי יְרוָר, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים). I am Hashem who took you out of Ur Kasdim which is the same language as (אָנֹכִי יְרוָר אֱלֹקיךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם). That we have the first Anochi of (אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם). In both it is a Briya Chadasha. When there is a new creation, it was the first so to speak of the Asara Mamaros, it was a new Briya, a Briya Chadasha.
Now that we understand the Yesod that it is a Briya Chadasha, so we understand that Avraham Avinu left Terach and in a sense the old Avraham Avinu who was a son of Terach no longer existed, it was a new Avraham Avinu, it was a new beginning. Therefore, it is not Sheker. The Torah tells us that Terach died and Avraham left. So the question was that the Torah is fooling us as Avraham Avinu really did leave his old father. The answer is no. when his father gave him up to be thrown into a furnace, the relationship between Terach and Avraham came to an end. Avraham came out of the furnace as a new Avraham Avinu, a new Briya. Therefore, when the Torah tells us things this way it is telling us the truth that Avraham Avinu didn’t leave his father, his father who had him thrown into a furnace no longer had the Tokeif of father and the relationship was over.
In the Asara Mamaaros Shenivrah Olam the Gemara says that there were only nine Vayomers. The Gemara says that there were only nine Mamaros. Beraishis, the very beginning it doesn’t say Vayomer. Why? Because before there was creation you can’t say Vayomer. Beraishis there was a beginning, the first step was the beginning. That it doesn’t say.
Zagt the Ohr Gedalyahu, the same thing with the Ur Kasdim experience. The Ur Kasdim experience is hidden. Just like the Torah doesn’t tell us what was before Beraishis, what changed from before Beraishis to after Beraishis, the same thing. The Torah introduces us to the new Avraham Avinu. It doesn’t talk about the old Avraham coming into the new Avraham Avinu. This is the Ohr Gedalyahu’s Yesod.
I want to add that this comes back to an old Yesod of ours. That Mesiras Nefesh is what creates Ruchnios. Avraham Avinu was Moser Nefesh to be thrown into Ur Kasdim and he became a new Avraham, he became Avraham Avinu. The same thing anytime a person is Moser Nefesh. I mentioned in the past that Rav Schwab says that Mesiras Nefesh destroys Kochos Hatumah around you. Doing things that are difficult for you, we are not ready to be thrown into Ur Kasdim but we are ready to be Moser Nefesh as it says in the Gemara that Talmidei Chachamim Menadidin Shina Mei’aineihem. When we are exhausted and we push ourselves to learn that is also Mesiras Nefesh. When we push ourselves to get out of bed to get to Shacharis on time that is also Mesiras Nefesh. Mesiras Nefesh creates a Klal Yisrael and that is what happened in Ur Kasdim.
2 – Topic – A possible Teretz from the Ketzos
Let us move to another topic. Avraham Avinu comes to Mitzrayim with his wife and he says as is found in 12:13 (אִמְרִי-נָא, אֲחֹתִי אָתְּ) say that you are my sister (לְמַעַן יִיטַב-לִי בַעֲבוּרֵךְ). Guess what happens. He says don’t say you are my wife says you are my sister. So what does Pharoh do as he wants to marry this Sarah. 12:16 (וּלְאַבְרָם הֵיטִיב, בַּעֲבוּרָהּ). He sends all kinds of wonderful gifts. Later the truth comes out.
I don’t understand, how can Avraham Avinu keep these gifts. Isn’t it a Mekach Ta’us, it was sent under false pretenses. Avraham Avinu pretends he is Sarah’s brother so now you can influence the Shidduch. Imagine you have someone that you want a Shidduch, so you send the person some money and say help me with this Shidduch. Then you find out that this woman is an Eishes Ish there will not be any Shidduch with this woman so you want your money back. It is a very Shver thing how Avraham Avinu is allowed to keep this money. It needs a Bi’ur.
Perhaps, the Ketzos Hachoshen says the rule in Siman 25:1of Adam Muad L’olam is a Gezairas Hakasuv. It means that a person is responsible for any damage he does. Even if he does it and it is not his fault. He is still responsible. Adam Muad L’olam. The Gemara learns it out of Petza Tachas Patza from the Posuk. Says the Ketzos, Adam Muad L’olam is not a Svara it is a Gezairas Hakasuv and it says in the Parsha of Mazik on the topic of people who damage other people’s property. By Genaiva, when it comes to stealing, if someone steals B’ones or B’shogeig. Someone steals in a way in which he is guiltless, he didn’t do anything wrong, in such a case there is no Din of Adam Muad L’olam. There is no Din that you have to pay back. Certainly if you have an object that belongs to another Yid it is no worse than Hashavas Aveida and you have to give it back. But there is no Din Ganav, there is no responsibility for Ganav.
Perhaps, Avraham Avinu was an Oneis. He was afraid for his life and he was pretending that he was Sarah’s brother and they are sending him money, and they are sending him Tzon and Shefachos and many kinds of goodies. What is he going to say no I don’t want it? What would be the reason that he wouldn’t want it? What is he going to say as Pharoh would not understand because human beings always want free money. What is he going to say, she is an Eishes Ish? He can’t do that either. It would have been dangerous for him to try that. Mimeila, according to that, it is very understandable that Avraham was able to keep it as he took it B’oneis and Mimeila he is allowed to keep it. It is a possible technical Teretz.
3 – Topic – A Question of the week
In this week’s Parsha we have the Milah of Avraham Avinu and Yishmael. Incredible! A 13 year old boy and a 99 year old man that do the Ratzon Hashem and they do a Bris Milah. In next week’s Parsha we have the Milah of Yitzchok an 8 day old baby. So the Posuk tells us in 21:8 (וַיִּגְדַּל הַיֶּלֶד, וַיִּגָּמַל; וַיַּעַשׂ אַבְרָהָם מִשְׁתֶּה גָדוֹל, בְּיוֹם הִגָּמֵל אֶת-יִצְחָק). That Avraham made a big party (בְּיוֹם הִגָּמֵל אֶת-יִצְחָק). Rashi says (לסוף עשרים וארבע חדש) means when Yitzchok was 2 years old he was weaned off nursing. However, Tosafos says that it was a Seudas Bris Milah. (בְּיוֹם הִגָּמֵל) Hei and Gimmel is 8 days. (בְּיוֹם הִגּ) (מל) on the 8th day when he did the Bris Milah. This is what Tosafos says. Both the Tosafos and the Daas Zekainim M’balei Tosafos in next week’s Parsha and Tosafos in Maseches Shabbos on 130 in Perek Rabbi Elazar D’milah. So they say that that is the first ever Seudas Hab’ris by Yitzchok Avinu.
I don’t understand. When an 8 day old baby has a Bris you make a Seudas Mitzvah. Of course you make a Seudas Mitzvah. When a 99 year old man and a 13 year old boy have a Bris you don’t make a Seudas Mitzvah? Why is the first Seudas Mitzvah only later by Yitzchok and not here by Avraham and Yishmael? This definitely needs a Bi’ur. Tzorech Iyun Gadol!
Agav I want to mention that a Seudas Bris Milah is a Davar Kadosh, it is a holy Seudah. It is an incredible thing that Klal Yisrael takes their 8 day old babies and give them up to a Bris Milah. It is really an incredible thing. It is a time of Kedusha when Eliyahu Hanavi comes. The Seudas Hab’ris should be B’kedusha. It is enjoyable and fun and proper. It should be a Seuda that mirrors the Kedusha of the moment and it should be appropriate, it should be a Seuda that has a certain solemn air to it, a happy solemn air to it. Would people put balloons by a Chasunah? When a Bris becomes an issue of toys and balloons, I don’t mean Davka the balloons, but I mean the whole attitude of balloons at a Bris, that is a circus item. What is it doing at a Bris Milah. Bris Milah is a time of Kedusha. It should be treated as such. That is just my feeling but the Kasha is a good Kasha.
And so, I am just reminded that in 1991 when Iraq was at war, there was a Tai’yere Russian Yid who was not a Talmid Chochom and he worked in one of the Yeshivos. By the Iraqi war he said I have such headaches from the Bnei Yishmael. I don’t understand this Avraham Avinu. Hashem says as is found in 22:2 (קַח-נָא אֶת-בִּנְךָ) take your son and bring him up as an Akeida and kill him. So Avraham says (קַח-נָא אֶת-בִּנְךָ) which (בִּנְךָ). (אֶת-יְחִידְךָ) which (יְחִידְךָ). (אֲשֶׁר-אָהַבְתָּ) which (אָהַבְתָּ). So he said in Yiddish, Ich Varshtei Nisht. The Eibeshta Zagt, Nem the Yishmael, Hak Im Up Da Kup and Mis Patur Fun Em. (Avraham Avinu should have ran as soon as Hashem said and knocked off Yishmael). That is what he said I guess in a joking way.
I am thinking now, that maybe Avraham Avinu said a Seudas Bris Milah is a Davar Kadosh. The first Seudah shouldn’t be the Seudah of the Bris of Yishmael. It should be the Seudah of the Bris of Yitzchok. Even though it was Avraham and Yishmael but still it would have been Yishmael’s Seudas Ha’bris too. Better it should be a Yitzchok Avinu Seudas Bris. Maybe that is why he waited as a Seudas Bris is a Davar She’bekedusha. It should be done for Yitzchok Avinu. I wish everybody an absolutely wonderful, delightful Shabbos, a meaningful Shabbos and a Shabbos of Aliyah.