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 LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

The chessed of Avraham
Shlomo Katz - 5773

You Shall Live by Them
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Spiritual Yichus
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

> Big Potential
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

The Kindness Factor
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Enduring Lesson
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

ArtScroll

Bordering on the Holy Land
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Beginning & End of the Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Go to the Land of Canaan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Long Distance Call
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Lucky Man
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

No Business As Usual
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Case Closed
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Don't Walk in Front of Me (Anymore)
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Love and Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761



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