Acts of the Avot

MISS MALKA TASHMAN (TNRB24B@prodigy.com)
Sun, 2 Feb 1997 00:16:16, -0500

RabbiI@aol.com wrote:
<< A question thats been bothering me lately. Maybe someone can shed some
light.... Did the Avos know of the concept of "Maseh Avos Siman L'bonim"? I
think I can prove from a Ramban that perhaps they didn't. The Ramban in
Parshas Chaye Sorah says that Lovon couldn't have possibly opened the
muzzles of the camels because surely Avrohom Ovinu's animals were trained
at least as well as R' Pinchus ben Yair's who wouldn't eat fruits that
hadn't had Teruma or Maaser taken from them. That being the case why would
Avrohom muzzle his animals - they wouldn't eat stolen fruit. If the Avos
knew "Maseh Avos Siman L'bonim" then maybe Avrohom only muzzled his animals
for us to learn that we shouldn't let our animals go unmuzzled? I don't
know if this is right....Does anyone have any Mareh Mekomos that might
help? >>

Rav Kotlar in "Maamar Mamran" section 5, discusses the whole Inyan (issue)
of Rachel and Yaakov and their relationship. I believe that he seems to
feel that Yaakov Avinu did in fact know of the concept of "Maseh Avos Siman
L'bonim" (the acts of the Forefathers are an indication of the fate of
their children). Just to take the relevant section, he says that their
relationship could not possibly have been one of desire, and one of his
questions on this is that if in fact it was so, how could Yaakov himself
volounteer to work for Lavan for Rachel for seven years if it was stemmed
in desire. He says that Yaakov was the "Bechir Haavos" (chosen of the
father's) and he was merited to build Bnei Israel. Yaakov knew that in
order to reach this level, he had to go through a tremendous amount of
cleansing.

Therefore, Yaakov did not get married at the age of 40 as did his father
Yitzchak. When he left his house to initially go find himself a wife, he
was 63. He then sat in the house of Shem Veever and learned for another 14
years. He finally reached Lavan's house at the age of 77, and after all
this cleansing, he still felt he needed to strengthen himself at the house
of Lavan to prepare Bnei Yisrael to guard their level among the nations,
and for this reason he suggested to work for Rachel out of his choice, for
seven years. He succeeded in maintaining his level as it says "Im Lavan
Garti" (I lived with Lavan). Thus Yaakov's goal was to attain inner
perfection because his characteristics would be what the twelve tribes,
essentially all of Bnei Israel would inherit. He was the "blueprint for
Klal Israel" - once he had a child it would be set. He knew this concept
of "Maase Avos Siman Lebanim" and spent most of his life preparing himself
for it.

I hope this helped.