VOLUME 108 NUMBER 5
Cheshvan 26, 5784
November 10, 2023
PARSHAS CHAYEI SARA
Candlelighting Time 4:31 PM
We know that the Torah conceals many deep and profound secrets in obscure allusions. And our Sages have revealed many of these hidden and reflective complexities. However, every letter and its formation harbor many insightful explanations that require a trained and erudite intellect to expose the cryptic ideas of the Torah. And there are thousands of these beautiful intellectualizes of Torah knowledge encompassed throughout the words of the Torah. Therefore, when the Torah is so expansive in its detailed expression of Eliezer searching for a wife for Rivka this is quite surprising! Couldn’t the entire episode have been captured in a few short words? Was it really necessary to narrate this story and to repeat it again?
The Midrash addresses this issue and states that it is important to relate the events involving the servants of the Patriarchs more so than the Torah of their children. This maxim is somewhat puzzling. Why indeed is this so significant and the thousands of laws derived from words in the Torah seemingly not as crucial?
S’fas Emes conveys two very critical points that Midrash is telling us. Eliezer also had a daughter that he thought would be appropriate for Yitzchok. However, he was a descendant of Noach’s son Canaan and the curse appointed upon him was transferred to Eliezer as well. He served his master Avrohom with the utmost diligence and with that impressive loyalty he elevated his status from one who is cursed to a lofty level of one who is sacrosanct. Although that was a specific example of such magnitude, our lesson is to accomplish that type of goal on a global level. Our challenge in this world is to negate that which is contrary to the glory of Hashem. Communicating the story of Eliezer searching for Rivka instills in us that theme and concept. And that mission encompasses the entire scheme of life of all.
Perhaps central to the above matter is to recognize the dominant and consummate status of the Patriarchs, the progenitors of our nation. Although we view them as essentially regular human beings, they were anything but that. Their physicality was on a level far surpassing that of anyone mortal that we can imagine. Therefore, to assess their spiritual inspirational character and force is beyond our capacity to process and absorb. The nearest that we can recognize in grasping their preeminence is to understand them through those who served them and were close to them, their servants. As we examine the conduct of their operatives we can gain an extensive glimpse of the Patriarchs and their greatness. And that appreciation will assist us in setting our moral compasses accurately.
Chasam Sofer takes this discussion to a novel level. He explains that the Torah in its pristine form is of such spirituality that truly cannot be physically transferred. However, to the extent possible the Heavenly nature of the Torah was transmuted into the letters of the Torah which we received from Hashem. Its original status is of such a great loftiness that only a diminutive reference is possible. Whereas the actions of the servants of the Patriarchs are not of such an unconceivably enhanced nature, therefore an extended rendition is realistic. However, at its root, the message of Chasam Sofer rings true with that of the S’fas Emes. In the final analysis we surmise that the elemental quality of Torah is truly astounding.
A BYTE FOR SHABBOS
Eliezer requested Lavan to perform an act of kindness permeated with truth and allow Rivka to leave and marry Yitzchok. This appeal suggests that permitting Rivka to accompany Eliezer will facilitate the evolving of our nation through the quality of truth which Yaakov their son will promote and advance. S’FAS EMES
OUR HEARTS BLEED WITH ANGUISH AT THE ONGOING UNFOLDING NEWS OF DISCOVERY OF MANGLED AND TORTURED VICTIMS OF THE OCTOBER 7TH MASSACRE. AS WE PRAY FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR FELLOW JEWS IN ERETZ YISROEL AS THEY CONTINUE TO FIGHT AN ADVERSARY AS EVIL AS THE NAZIS AND PERHAPS EVEN WORSE, THE WORLD IS UP IN ARMS AS THE GENOCIDE, AS THEY VIEW IT, CONTINUES AS WE DEFEND OURSELVES AGAINST HAMAS. OUR ONLY DEFENSE IS THE SAME AS IT HAS BEEN THROUGHOUT THE AGES, TO DEPEND UPON HASHEM TO SAVE US FROM OUR ENEMIES. IT IS ONLY WITH HIS BLESSING OF PEACE AND SALVATION WE WILL BE ABLE TO RECOVER FROM THIS TRAGEDY. LET US CONTINUE TO OFFER OUR PRAYERS TO HASHEM.