Our Parshat HaShevua, Lech Lecha is sponsored by Yirmi and Rochelle Gold and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh who dedicated this vort for a Refuah Shlaima to Shlomo Chaim ben Chaya (Scholnick) and for a Mazel Tov to Menachem Scholnick on his Bar Mitzvah. To the Gold family, many thanks for your sponsorship and your continued kindnesses.
You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.
Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.
Each year, for a number of years now, this author has said over a line on the first night of Succot, as Avraham Avinu is the first day’s Ushpizin (the one for whom the day in the Succah is dedicated). This brief line is a parody on a line from the classic weekly Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In comedy hour of the late sixties and early seventies:
And now, the man without whom the Jews wouldn’t be the Jews without the Jew, Avraham Avinu!
We learn that Avraham Avinu derived, on his own, the existence of The Supreme Creator and King. We may surmise that he heard a cerebral Divine message.
The opening posuk of our Parshat reads:
“Hashem said to Avram, ‘Go for yourself from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (As rendered to English in “The Sapirstein Edition, The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary” on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 12, posuk 1)
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his Sefer “Growth Through Torah” (pages 36-37), cites Sefer Mimayanos Hanetzach on the above posuk regarding the importance of Chessed:
Rabbi Nachum of Tzer-noble devoted much time and effort to redeeming Jews who were imprisoned by anti-semitic regimes. He traveled from place to place gathering funds to make the necessary payments to free those imprisoned. Once when he was in Zhitomer, some people fabricated a libel against him and he was put into prison.
A righteous person came to him in prison and said to him, “Our forefather Avraham was outstanding in his kindness to wayfarers. He took in people who were traveling and expended great efforts to make his guests comfortable…. The Almighty told him to travel away from his father’s home, his birthplace, and his land. Only now when he personally experiences being a stranger in a foreign place will he know first hand what it is like. This will give him a greater appreciation of what he can do to help his guests.”
“Similarly with you,” the righteous visitor told him. “You are completely devoted to freeing prisoners. From Heaven they are giving you the chance to experience what it is like to be held captive by enemies of our people. This will give you a deep appreciation of the necessity of doing all that you can to free other people in the future with all possible speed.”
R’ Pliskin brings this analogy to emphasize how one’s own often difficult circumstances can bring about a special degree of sensitivity toward difficult circumstances of others.
This author cites the above story and analogy to emphasize his exposure to the great degree of Hachnasot Orchim and other aspects of chessed existing among Torah Jewry, both here in Israel and among those back in Philadelphia, in the “Old Country.” The instances and stories are far too numerous to cite in this or any vort.
But just a few: the expertly orchestrated Pesach Seders, the legendary Hachnosat Orchim family in Jerusalem where anyone and everyone is perpetually invited for Shabbos meals and where one hundred people in that small flat is called a “slow Shabbos”; the family who opened their home to this author to sit Shiva for a parent because his apartment was too small and inconvenient for minyanim; the neighbor who helped this author, in a few instances, to get to a medical emergency room; the sofer who repaired a few old Sifrei Torah gratus out of sensitivity for a great need for Mekomot Torah in Eretz Yisrael. The list could go on and on… without end. And the gene exists in us because it all started with:
The man without whom the Jews wouldn’t be the Jews without the Jew, Avraham Avinu!
May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of three years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.