Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Lech Lecha

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken


"After these things, the word of G-d came to Avram in a vision, saying, 'do not fear, Avram, for I am your shield, and your reward is extremely large.' And Avram said, 'L-rd G-d, what will you give me, when I go childless, and the heir who will inherit my house is Eliezer of Damascus?'" [15:1-2]

Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki provides a homiletic explanation of 'Damascus' [Damesek] from the Talmud, which says something other than that Eliezer came from the city itself: Eliezer was he who drew [Dal] and gave to drink [Mashkeh] from the Torah of his teacher to others.

This is a fascinating way to understand the word, and yet it seems to make little sense in context: Avram is complaining that he has no descendants, and is unhappy that Eliezer will inherit his house. Why would he, then, praise Eliezer at this moment? Furthermore, the Talmud also tells us that students are like children, and here Eliezer is held up as the ultimate student!

The Maharam MiPiltz explains that Avram is identifying the precise defect in Eliezer, which rendered him unfit to extend the Jewish people into a second generation. Eliezer lacked his own Torah. All he could do was take Avram's words and transmit them to others.

Within the Jewish people, we find something quite different. Each of our forefathers was known for a particular characteristic: Avraham for kindness, Yitzchak for fear, Yaakov for truth. Eliezer could only transmit teachings received from others, and this was insufficient to fill Avram's place.

Just as every letter in a Torah scroll is different, so too every Jew is different. And just as every letter is necessary, every Jew is necessary. Everyone has his or her individual contribution to make... it's something we inherited from our ancestors!


 

ARTICLES ON ACHAREI MOS AND KEDOSHIM:

View Complete List

More Power To You
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Faith Healer
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Role of Spouse in Loving One's Neighbor
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

> After Death - Life!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Don't Take Revenge...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Seeking Counsel - When and Where
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Leaving a True Legacy Behind
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Sweet Revenge
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Understand The Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Critical Difference
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Acharei Mos
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

A Tremendous Mitzvah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

ArtScroll

Kiddush Moments
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

Jumping To Conclusions
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Splitting The Marriage Atom
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774

Accountable for Our Priorities
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information