Illuminations #134, Cheshvan 5778, Parshat Lech-Lecha

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Illuminations #134, Cheshvan 5778, Parshat Lech-Lecha

Torah Gems

In Parchas Lech Lecha we begin the happenings of our Forefathers. The Torah goes to great lengths to relate to us what they experienced. A few examples are the amount of wells Avraham dug, the preparation of the food for the Angels that came to visit, and where Avram went when there was a famine.  Why did the Torah feel it necessary to tell over these stories when some appear to be irrelevant or inconsequential?

The Ramban gives us a beautiful insight. Everything that the Forefathers did was a sign for their children about what would happen to them in the future. The Forefathers created roots of such strength to the extent that the Jews could not be cursed by Bila’am because they were as firmly rooted as mountains and hills. For a tree to grow, a seed must be planted, and the more invested in it, the more it will produce. As much as the Forefathers did to plant the seeds of the Jewish Nation, they could have done even more. When Avraham Avinu came to Cana’an there was a famine so he continued to Egypt. The Ramban writes that he should have stayed and trusted in Hashem, but because he didn’t stay, his children stayed in Mitzrayim and suffered. The Torah shares this example to teach us a lesson. A person can always do a little more.

Parsha Pearls

The Pasuk says, “Avram went up from Mitzrayim and proceeded on his journeys.” Rashi comments that we can infer from the words “proceeded on his journeys,  that he stayed in the same inn on the way to Eretz Yisrael as he did on his way down to Mitzrayim. The Maharal in Gur Aryeh denotes from here that a person shouldn’t change his lodging because the innkeeper will think the guest was unhappy.

Glimpses of Greatness

Rav Avraham Pam offers another perspective. Before Avraham went down to Egypt, he was not a rich man, however, Hashem promised  him that he would become rich, and when he left Egypt he was indeed rich. When a person becomes wealthy, they may be tempted to upgrade their standard of living, yet the Torah teaches that whatever our financial situation may be, it is recommended to maintain a modest lifestyle and use extra money to support  Mitzvot and Torah Study.

Rav Shach had an important meeting scheduled. As the meeting was getting ready to begin a father and son came to ask if they could please have a chance to speak with Rav Shach for just a moment.  The gabbaim said they could go in if it would be quick. They went in to request that the great Rabbi bless the boy for success in his learning.  When Rav Shach realized that the boy did not enjoy learning, he reviewed Gemara with him. The boy left with a strong, warm feeling for Torah Study. When the pair left, Rav Shach explained to his important meeting members that the matter of the father and son was of great urgency and could not be postponed.  Enjoying learning is a matter of life and death.

Halacha Weekly

Q. Is it permitted to send Mezuzot in the Mail? [2-7-177]

A. Sheilot v’Teshuvot Kav Hanaki (1-370, R. Yechiel Mikhalben Aharon Tuktsinkski) asks the question: is it permitted to send a mezuzah in the mail? The question arises because if one considers that it [the mezuzah] will end up being thrown from place to place [in the process of processing the mail in the post office], perhaps this is a disgraceful treatment of the mezuzah?  The situation describes when it is impossible to send it in some other way.

He argues that it is permitted, since one sends even items that are important in the same way [in a manner that throws the items sent in the mail from place to place]. Therefore, even though the postal workers handling mail items throw the package and sacks of letters from place to place, this is not considered a disgraceful treatment of the mezuzah.