וישכם אברהם בבקר ויקח־לחם וחמת מים ויתן אל־הגר שם על־שכמה ואת־הילד וישלחה ותלך ותתע במדבר באר שבע. ויכלו המים מן־החמת ותשלך את־הילד תחת אחד השיחם
Early next morning Avraham took some bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar. He placed them over her shoulder, together with the child, and sent her away. And she wandered about in the desert of Be’er Sheva. When the water was gone from the skin, she left the child under one of the bushes.
רש"י- ותלך ותתע- חזרה לגלולי בית אביה
Rav Mottel Pogramansky zt”l was once travelling on a train on an erev Shabbos. Seated next to him was a mohel/shochet that was also a Talmid Chachom, who seized the opportunity to engage him in a torah discussion. The two became so araingetun (engrossed) in learning that they missed their stop. By the time they noticed, they were too far to make it back to the intended destination. “Oy mir hubben fahrblungedt! Where will we stay? What about Kiddush and lechem mishne?” the mohel worriedly asked. Rav Mottel responded that “Ah yid iz kain mohl nisht fahrblungedt”- a yid is never lost! When a yid ends up in a certain place, it is Hashgacha Pratis; HaShem wants him there.
They entered the nearby town and searched for some time until they found the only Jewish home. The owner opened the door for them and began crying tears of joy. “Do you happen to be a mohel? Are you Eliyahu Hanavi? A week ago, my wife gave birth to a baby boy and today would have been the bris but she is too weak to travel and there is no mohel nearby.” They remained for Shabbos. Rav Mottel was the sandek as the mohel performed the bris.
When they left the home, Rav Mottel explained pshat in the words of Rashi on our possuk. Rashi says, it means that she returned to her old ways of Avodah Zorah. Where does rashi get this from? Why was rashi not happy with the literal translation- that she was lost and was now wandering around? Rav Mottel explained that the emunah of a yid must be that a yid is never lost. When it seems that way, it must be for a higher reason.
After all the time spent in Avraham Avinu’s home (at least fifteen to twenty years) this emunah would have been engrained in her. The fact that she felt lost indicates that she was no longer holding by the emunah that she learned in the house of Avraham.
So when we do find ourselves stuck or lost we must remember that “ah Yid iz kain mohl nisht farblungedt.” We are exactly where HaShem wants us to be, whether we understand why or not.
On a similar note, I heard from Rav Druk another angle on this possuk that proves the same idea. There is a puzzling fact over here. Avraham Avinu banished Hagar and Yishmael to the desert with only a little bit of bread and a jug of water. Wasn’t Avraham the paradigm of chessed whose doors were wide open to the public, serving endless food, and yet, for his own wife and son, just some bread and water? Doesn’t chessed start at home? Indeed, the Torah tells us that the small amount of food that was provided did not last, which resulted in Yishmael almost dying of thirst.
The answer is that Avraham knew that as long as Hagar’s emunah would remain steadfast, the loaf of bread and the jug of water would never run out. If Avraham’s dust could turn into arrows when necessary, then surely his food could last for a long time as was the case of the dough in his own home ((ברכה שבעיסה .
So why did Hagar’s food supply run dry? It must be that she reverted back to her old ways of avoda zara. By doing so, she disconnected from Avraham Avinu’s home, no longer able to realize the brachos that emanated from there. Her eyes were now closed, no longer possessing the ability to see the bigger picture in the manner that only a true ma’amin can.
It was only after she cried out to HaShem that her eyes were once again opened, thus allowing her to see the well of water right there in front of her.
In the introduction to Sha’ar Habitachon, the Chovos Halevavos tells us that one of the advantages of being a “baal bitachon” is that one gains the ability to see things in a much broader manner. When I read this comment, I found it extremely intriguing. Really? The ma’amin in Hashem has a broader perspective? Haven’t we always been told by the secular world that we are way too narrow-minded and that there is a whole wide world out there that we need to consider, not just our own daled-amos?
I believe that the answer is as follows: The secular world looks at us and says that we must look at the entire picture. Now, what does “entire picture” really refer to? So they will say, get out of the mentality of Boro Park, Lakewood, Monsey, Toronto, Yerushalayim etc. and accept that there are other places in the world that shape world policy and its finances. One must consider all of the outside influences.
Let us say that we accept this for a moment. But still, how far will they go in their world-wide considerations? The answer is that they will consider as far as the human eye will allow them to. Perhaps, add binoculars and they will see further. Add a telescope to that and it’s even more than that. Of course, with today’s technology, one can virtually visit anywhere in the world within seconds. Sounds pretty broad, right?
Zugt the Chovos Halevavos: that approach is actually very narrow minded because there is a whole world of possibilities out there once we consider another layer of vision, namely, that the Aibishter is running the world and every last detail of what happens. He is hakol yachol, completely limitless. The baal habitachon will not be so closed-minded to only see what is revealed by the naked eye. No! Having emunah and bitachon trains one to be completely open-minded t the point of not needing to worry when it seems like a dead end has been reached. By exercising faith in Hashem, one actually opens up to the unlimited possibilities of the Hakol Yachol. Hagar did not see the well which was right there, but with truly open eyes, she would not have even needed to look for it.
Good Shabbos, מרדכי אפפעל