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 PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Tumas Kohen: Impure Contact
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

For Whose Sake?
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Let Us Pray!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

ArtScroll

Kinah for Tisha BAv Revised
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Born Of Clarity
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Our Father, Our Light
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

> Making A Difference
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

If A Person Sees Himself As Wicked, He Is Easy Picking For the Yetzer Horah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Vov of Connection-Vov of Division
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Getting Answers
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5765

Kindly Justice
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Lead Us and We Will Follow
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Time is Now!
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 2
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

To My Very Last Breath
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

The Pitfall of Consistency: Been There; Done That
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770



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