The Beginning of the Parsha where we have Avraham Avinu being Machnis Orchim. He greets the three Arabs walking and is Machnis Orech which is seen as a tremendous Middah of Avraham Avinu as it was the 3rd day since he had undergone the Bris Milah. From this we learn out certain aspects of Hachnasas Orchim.
The Gemara in Maseches Bava Kamma 16 says that Yirmiya was Mispallel about his enemies who put him into jail, that when they do Mitzvos and give Tzedakah they should not receive any Zechusim from it. He was Mispallel that the people who receive the Tzedakah should be fakers and people who don’t deserve Tzedakah. It appears from that Gemara that Chesed that is done with good intentions, however, the recipient is not someone who is really deserving of Chesed, is not Chesed.
If that is the case, it seems quite strange that our example of Chesed is Avraham Avinu here in the beginning of Parshas Vayeira as he is feeding the Malachim food. According to the Gemara they only made themselves look like they were eating, however, they didn’t eat. Is this Chesed, it doesn’t really seem to be Chesed. They were not needy and they didn’t need the Chesed.
It seems to be a contradiction because it seems to be a Maylah and the Gemara in Maseches Bava Kamma says that it is not.
Rav Elchanan in the Drashas in the back of the Kovetz Ma’amarim explains the Gemara in Maseches Bava Kamma 16 based on a basic idea of the Mesillas Yesharim which we all should know. The Mesillas Yesharim says that in every Kiyum Mitzvah, there are 2 aspects to the Mitzvah.
1. There is the Guf Hamitzvah which is the Etzem Mitzvah that the person is doing. That is a Tikun in and of itself. It is Mesakein the Olomos as we say in Sefiras Haomer. It does something in the world because it is a tremendous Chesed.
2. There is also the idea that a person is being Mekayeim Ratzon Hashem. That a person is a faithful Eved Hashem and does whatever Hahsem wants him to do.
Rav Elchanan explains that sometimes you have a Mitzvah like for example Lulav, that you have one aspect out of the Mitzvah without the other. He takes the Lulav Shelo Lishma because of social pressure and not for Ratzon Hashem. He was Mekayeim the Mitzvah but he is lacking in the aspect of Eved Hashem, because he is not doing it because Hashem said so. He is doing the Mitzvah for some other reason.
In another case you can have a person that shakes a Lulav with Ratzon Hashem however, it is a Pasul Lulav. He is an Ones because he had bought it from a reliable person, however, that person was fooled and he shook a Lulav and Esrog that was Posul. If he did it Lishmah, he still has the part of the Mitzvah that is being an Eved Hashem. He wanted to do the Mitzvah, however, he didn’t do it.
In a case of giving Tzedaka to a person who is not deserving, if a person is giving the Tzedakah Lishmah even if the recipient is not deserving, it is missing in the Kiyum Hamitzvah, however, in the Eved Hashem aspect he is not lacking. His intention is to do the Mitzvah.
In the case of Yirmiyah, he knew that they did Chesed Shelo Lishmah and that it was done only because of social pressure. So it turns out that the aspect of the Mitzvah of Eved Hashem they don’t have. They only have the Kiyum Hamitzvah itself. So he was Mispallel that they shouldn’t even have the Kiyum Hamitzvah. That the Kiyum Mitzvah shouldn’t take place.
On the other hand, Avraham Avinu, even though it is true that he had no Kiyum Mitzvah of Chesed, because they didn’t need Tzedakah or Chesed, as they were Malachim. However, as far as doing the Ratzon Hashem and being an Eved Hashem, fulfilling הקב”ה Ratzon, since he set out to do it, it was a Kiyum. That is a fundamental difference between the case of Avraham Avinu and the people who locked up Yirmiya.
There is a byproduct of this Limud and that is, in Pirkei Avos we are told to be Machshiv every Mitzvah because we don’t know the reward for the specific Mitzvos. The Rambam says that we do know that there are some Mitzvos that are more important than others. A Mitzvah that there is a Chiyuv Misah for is more important than a Mitzvah for which there is no punishment.
However, based on what we are saying it turns out as follows. When you do a Mitzvah of greater importance, let’s say you make Kiddush on Shabbos which is a very important Mitzvah. In the Kiyum Mitzvah aspect, you have a higher Madreiga. As far as the Eved Hashem aspect, the more important Mitzvah it is the less it shows that you are an Eved Hashem. This is because someone who is faithful to the King a little, will do his most important commandments and not the less significant ones. It turns out that there is a reverse relationship here. Those Mitzvos that are super important, in the Mitzvah itself, there is a greater Kiyum and in the Eved Hashem aspect it is less. When you do Mitzvos that are technically less significant, in the Kiyum Hamitzvah aspect there could be Mitzvos that are less significant. In the Eved Hashem aspect there is a greater Kiyum. This is an important lesson and a Gevaldige Limud Klali in Kiyum Mitzvos.
At the end of the Parsha we find the Akeida. The Gemara says that on Rosh Hashanah we blow Shofar. Why do we prefer the Shofar of the Ram? To remind us of the Ram of the Akeidas Yitzchok. The Posuk says 22:13 יג וַיִּשָּׂא אַבְרָהָם אֶת-עֵינָיו, וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה-אַיִל, אַחַר, נֶאֱחַז בַּסְּבַךְ בְּקַרְנָיו; וַיֵּלֶךְ אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אֶת-הָאַיִל, וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ לְעֹלָה תַּחַת בְּנוֹ. The Ayil was sacrificed in place of Yitzchok, to remember that Ayil we blow on a Shofar of an Ayil.
Rav Schwab in regards to the Yomim Noraim asks, if you want to remember the Ayil of Yitzchok Avinu, why remember it with the horn, we should find another limb of the animal that has the Neshama Teluyah Bo which is of greater significance than the horn. A horn is not something that the animal even needs in order to live. Why is the horn of the Ayil projected as the remembrance of the Akeidah?
What was special about the horn of this Ayil? This animal was captured by its horns in the undergrowth in the location where the Akeidah was taking place and therefore, it couldn’t run away. The horns are what trapped it. Why is that important?
This Ayil was created during the 6 days of creation. This Ayil for 2,000 years was successful in escaping from hunters and other animals that would devour it. This animal was great at getting away. When the time came for the Ayil to be in a certain place and at a certain time, the horns got stuck in the growth and it could not get away.
The lesson of the horns is that when the Ribbono Shel Olam wants that a person or something should be in a certain place at a certain time, it happens. To remember the Akeidah we remember it with the horn because that is a fundamental lesson especially on Rosh Hashanah, that a person is where he is supposed to be.
There was a family who lived out of town and they were flying to their Rebbe inBrooklynfor Rosh Hashana. The flight had a delay and then even after they took off there were still problems with the engine. The flight landed in some city inTexas. They realized that they would not be able to make it toBrooklynfor Rosh Hashanah. They called the Rebbe fromTexasand said that something happened and they are stuck inTexas. We will not be with the Rebbe for Rosh Hahsanah.
The Rebbe responded, Stuck? You are not stuck. You are somewhere else because of Hashgacha Protis. You are never stuck. That is the lesson of the horn of the Ayil. Wherever you may be, you are not there because you are stuck; you are there because you are supposed to be there.
The question of the week is: 18:12 יב וַתִּצְחַק שָׂרָה, בְּקִרְבָּהּ לֵאמֹר: אַחֲרֵי בְלֹתִי הָיְתָה-לִּי עֶדְנָה, וַאדֹנִי זָקֵן As you know, in the beginning of the Parsha, Sarah laughs when she is told about Yitzchok being born. She was guilty. She shouldn’t have thought that it was something so distant to happen.
I don’t understand, we read in the end of Parshas Lech Lecha, 17:15 טו וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקִים, אֶל-אַבְרָהָם, שָׂרַי אִשְׁתְּךָ, לֹא-תִקְרָא אֶת-שְׁמָהּ שָׂרָי: כִּי שָׂרָה, שְׁמָהּ. Change her name from Sarai to Sarah. The very next Posuk says, טז וּבֵרַכְתִּי אֹתָהּ, וְגַם נָתַתִּי מִמֶּנָּה לְךָ בֵּן; וּבֵרַכְתִּיהָ וְהָיְתָה לְגוֹיִם, מַלְכֵי עַמִּים מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ. Meaning I will give you a son through her (Sarah). Why didn’t Avraham give over this message to Sarah that he had received? It is a very difficult question.
The Ramban asks this in the beginning of this weeks Parsha, however, his answers are difficult to understand. One answer he says is that maybe Avraham Avinu was very busy preparing for his Bris Milah and he didn’t get around to it. This is very difficult to understand. How long does it take to tell your wife that Hashem said that you will have a child?
The Ramban also says that maybe Avraham Avinu understood that Hashem wanted to tell Sarah himself. This is also very difficult to understand because Avraham was commanded to start calling his wife Sarah. So the next morning they wake up and Avraham Avinu says Good Morning Sarah. She says back to him, my name is Sarai. Avraham had to obey Hahsem’s command and say Sarah. So what in the world was going on?
If the Nivua was not meant to be told to Sarah, how did he fulfill it? Obviously, Hashem meant that Avraham should tell Sarah about this command. This is a very difficult question and it is compounded by the fact that this happens again at the end of the Parsha by the Akeida. Avraham again doesn’t tell Sarah that he going to the Akeida. There must be some message or some lesson here. I doubt that the lesson is to teach us not to talk to our wives too often. We would do well to find someone who can explain this better.
The next question of the week is: In Tefillas Geshem when we Daven for rain we said the following Lashon regarding Yitzchok. Zechor Hanolad Biv’soras Yukach Na M’at Mayim. Meaning, remember Yitzchok, who was born with the good news given by the time of 18:4 (יֻקַּח-נָא מְעַט-מַיִם). Then it refers to the end of the Parsha. V’sachta L’horo L’shachato, Lish’poch Damo Kamayim. Meaning, you spoke to his father to Shecht him, to pour his blood like water. This language of Tefillas Geshem, I don’t know who wrote it, certainly an Adam Gadol, as it is in our Siddur. However, this contradicts a Rashi in this weeks Parsha.
Rashi in 22:12 tells us, (כי עתה ידעתי: אמר רבי אבא אמר לו אברהם אפרש לפניך את שיחתי, אתמול אמרת לי (לעיל כא יב) כי ביצחק יקרא לך זרע, וחזרת ואמרת (שם כב ב) קח נא את בנך, עכשיו אתה אומר לי אל תשלח ידך אל הנער. אמר לו הקב”ה (תהלים פט לה) לא אחלל בריתי ומוצא שפתי לא אשנה, כשאמרתי לך קח מוצא שפתי לא אשנה, לא אמרתי לך שחטהו אלא העלהו, אסקתיה אחתיה). Meaning, Avraham asked the Ribbono Shel Olam, didn’t you tell me to kill my son. To which Hakadosh Baruch Hu responds, I didn’t tell you to Shecht him just to take him up there. So now that you brought him up, take him down. The whole point is that the Ribbono Shel Olam never told him to Shecht Yitzchok. So why in Tefillas Geshem do we say V’sachta L’horo L’shachato, you said to his father to Shecht him. This didn’t happen according to the Rashi just quoted from the Parsha? Tzorich Iyun.