from a lesson given by HaRav Eliezer Berland, shlit"a, Parshas Lech
The story by Rabbi Nachman "The King
and the Emperor," starts: Once there was a King and an Emperor, from different
lands, who were each childless. They both decided to travel to look for
a remedy to have children. They chance to meet in an inn, and each recognizing
a certain royal bearing in the other, they confide in one other. They make
a pact that if they will each have a child, one having a boy and they other
a girl, then the children will marry one another. In the course of time,
both the King and the Emperor have a child, one a boy and the other a girl,
but the pact between them is forgotten. They both send their children away
to study, and they both are sent to the same tutor. They meet one
another and pledge to marry one another. The farther away a couple comes
from one other, the more true the shidduch is. The couple in the
story came from completely different countries, with no apparent hope of
meeting one another, and yet they could not be kept apart because they
were meant for each other.
In the story of Eliezer being sent to find a bride
for Yitzchak, the whole quest had created a tremendous turmoil in Eliezer's
mind. Eliezer knew that Hashem had said to Avraham, "Go out from your land,
leave your people, and your father's house," and here he was, being sent
back, by Avraham, to the very place Hashem had ordered him to leave to
find a bride for his son. Had his master gone crazy? Surely he was going
completely against the word of Hashem. It is almost automatic that the
servant should have questions on his master, just as a student will have
on his Rebbe or the Tzaddik or even on Hashem himself. Eliezer had
a daughter who he thought was perfect for Yitzchak, who was brought up
in Avraham's house, but it wasn't until he arrived in Charan and saw Rivka
with the tremendous light coming from her, that he started to understand
the difference between Rivka and his own daughter.
Yet Eliezer had still another question on Avraham.
He saw that Rivka was due to give birth to Esav. In Bereishis 24:15,
it says she was "with her pitcher upon her shoulder." This phrase has the
roshe taivos, initial letters, of the name Esav. Did his master really
want to marry his son to someone that was going to give birth to such a
wicked person? But then Hashem opened his eyes to the fact that she was
also due to give birth to Yaakov, as it says (Bereishis 24:21),
"and the man, wondering at her was silent." The word silent
has the gematria of Esav and Yaakov, together.
Still, his original question raised itself again
when Lavan said to him (Bereishis 24:31), "Come in, you blessed
of Hashem." Surely, Avraham had explained to him the reason that it would
be impossible to take Eliezer's daughter for his son, was because Eliezer
was cursed (Rashi, Bereishis 24:39), since he was descended from
Canaan (Bereishis 9:25.) Now, if he was being described as, "blessed
of Hashem," did this mean that he had lost his "accursed" status?
So how did Eliezer overcome these questions? Simply
by being silent. He acted according to his master's instructions, doing
what he knew was the correct thing to do, and paying no heed whatsoever
to his own questions, and the questions simply fell away from him. Likewise,
when one is beset by questions, he should simply have patience and not
act according to the questions. He should wait and rely on Hashem to have
mercy on him and to show him the answers in good time.
It is interesting to note that the whole story of
Eliezer's going to find a wife for Yitzchak is recorded twice in the Torah,
first by Eliezer himself, and then by Eliezer to Lavan. Yet by Avraham--his
whole childhood, the breaking of the idols, the running away from Nimrod,
the flight into the desert, being thrown into the furnace--all these details
are all only hinted at and not even written explicitly. As pointed
out by the Rabbis, the story of the life of the slaves of the fathers is
more beloved to the Torah than anything that came later. Surely the story
of the life of Avraham could have taken many chapters!
Similarly we see by the 39 melachos, the
creative acts, forbidden to perform on Shabbos, that they are nowhere specified
in the Torah. Apart from two- Shvu Ish Tachtav--that one shouldn't
go out from his home--and "Lo Tivaru Esh"--not to light a fire--none
of the other melachos are listed. They are all learned out by remez,
clues, from the building of the Mishkan. (And even these two themselves
are remezim, "Shvu Ish" teaches that one should try to be
humble, to see himself as being under his true level, less than he is,
and "Esh"--not to light a fire--one should be very careful never
to get angry on Shabbos.)
The fact is that the Torah doesn't record stories
for their own sake or mention what doesn't need to be mentioned.
From what is recorded, many lessons and teachings can be derived.
The story of Eliezer being repeated twice teaches the crucial importance
of not being deceived by questions and doubts. One should rather
overcome this evil inclination and to do whatever is in his power to do,
acting only according to the truth, according to the instructions of the
Avraham's whole life was dedicated to
doing acts of chessed, loving kindness. He was unable to sit down
and eat a meal, unless he had guests at the table. Even on the third day
after his bris mila, when the pain is at it's greatest, he had to
have guests to eat with him. Hashem had thought to have mercy on him, so
He opened up a special hole in Gehinnom specifically so that the day would
be so hot that no one would be able to walk out in it. Then Avraham
would not have any guests to run after and serve.
But for Avraham this was unacceptable. First he
sent out Eliezer to find someone, but he was unable to find anyone out
in such a heat. So Avraham realized he would have to go and search for
himself. He was the only person able to go out in such a heat.
In the end, Hashem was forced, so to speak, to send him guests from heaven,
When a person dedicates himself to performing the
even just one particular mitzvah, with all his strength, he can
actually bring the Moshiach. The Midrash teaches about three people mentioned
in the Torah- Reuven, Boaz, and Aharon. If Reuven had known that his saving
of Yosef from the brothers would be written in the Torah, he would have
picked up Yosef, and carried him on his shoulders all the way home to his
father. If Boaz had known that the
chessed he did for Ruth would
be written in the Megilla, he would have brought fattened calves for her.
The Sfas Emes writes, if Boaz had done so, he would have brought Moshiach
ben David immediately.
It is written that the Moshiach ben David will be
descended from converts, just as David himself was descended from the convert,
Ruth. For only by converts do we find the ultimate mesirut nefesh,
a dedication to serving Hashem that stretches back to Avraham. They leave
their land, their home, their people: it is not possible for one to imagine
the suffering they go through. Rav Yehonason Eybeshitz writes that if one
really knew the true worth of the converts, how precious they are to Hashem,
he would kiss their every footstep. If Aharon had known that his going
out into the desert to meet Moshe would be written in the Torah, he would
have taken a full orchestra with him. Such a tremendous privilege to have
the merit to be able to go out and greet the Tzaddik. Had he done
so, Israel would have been redeemed immediately, without any need for Hashem
to have sent the ten plagues. Were a person to perform a mitzvah
with all his strength and concentration, he could immediately bring the
Continuing from the subject of shidduchim,
the Rav spoke about shalom bias, (peace in the home,) and how careful
one must be to always speak nicely to his wife, and never to shout or be
angry with her. ( The Rav has mentioned in previous lessons how all the
abundance and riches that are due to come to a man are canceled when he
shouts at his wife, because all the blessings and success that come to
him, come only because of her, due to her mesirut nefesh, the suffering
she goes through, in taking care of his house. When he makes her
cry, he loses everything.) The Zohar teaches that if one is unable to appease
and conciliate his wife, he shouldn't continue to live with her. The wife
is the general in the home, and he is just a regular soldier. Whatever
she tells him to do, he must do it immediately, and happily, whether
it is taking out the garbage or anything else. The man has the status of
a guest in his home, and it is not his business to get involved in the
cooking, decorating, furniture, etc. A man has to be filled with
love and admiration for his wife, to tell her at least a hundred times
a day how much he loves her, that all other women are nothing next to her.
This year the whole world is shaking.
Even before Rosh Hashanah there was an earthquake in Turkey, and since
then, things have been getting worse and worse. Earthquakes, storms, hurricanes,
floods, killer mosquitoes, hundreds of thousands of people going through
suffering, and being killed, all over the world. It says in the Midrash,
how, for twenty five years before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah,
Hashem also sent them earthquakes, storms etc. in order to hint to them
that they should desist from their unacceptable behaviour, and return to
Him in repentance.
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