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 NOACH:

View Complete List

Investing in the Land
Shlomo Katz - 5767

A World is Built!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Don't Shout at Me!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

> Compliments -- In The Presence And Outside The Presence Of A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Wine and Window Washers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Hidden Blessing
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Hide the Shame
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Perceptions - Noach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

ArtScroll

Missed Opportunities
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Join the Voices in the Ark
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

The Name of HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Lesson of the Ravens
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Meaningful Speech
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

A Second Chance
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Positive Speech Builds a Brighter World
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 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