Toldot 5774

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Ramban writes that the three wells that Yitzchak dug represent the three Temples. The first two wells, named Eisek (oppression) and Sitnah (hatred), represent the first two Temples that were destroyed by the Babylonians and Romans respectively. In both time periods, the Jews were oppressed and hated by their enemies to the point where it destroyed the Temples. The third well, Rechovot (lit. roads), represents the third Temple which will be built without oppression or hatred.

Vayeira 5774

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Avraham was tested many times by Hashem, the last test being the Akeidah. The Ramban explains the concept of a test from Hashem. A person has free will and can choose to do something or not. From his viewpoint, he sees Hashem's Word as a test. Hashem however sees this as a command to bring Man's potential into actual. Hashem wants to give Man reward for a good deed rather than just for a good heart. This is why "tests" are given to the righteous, it is for their benefit.

Lech Lecha 5774

Thursday, October 10, 2013

When Hashem promises the land to Avraham, He first tells Avraham to look at the land and then later He tells him to walk around its borders. The Kli Yakar explains that Hashem wanted Avraham to acquire the land in two aspects. By looking at the land he would acquire it spiritually and by walking its borders he would acquire it physically. The spiritual aspect would last for the generations; even when the Mikdash isn't around, we still have spiritual influence poured down on us when we long for its building

Noach 5774

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Midrash says that Shem merited a Tallis when he covered Noah in a cloth. However, Chazal say that Avraham merited techeiles on his tzitzis. The Kli Yakar explains that there is no contradiction here; these two actions work as a tag team. Shem's actions saved Bnei Yisroel from immorality while Avraham's actions saved Bnei Yisroel from poverty (he refused to take any money from the king of Sodom because he was happy with what he had). The mitzvah of tzitzis provides protection from both: it saves a person from immorality which in turn saves a person from poverty.
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