by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues
SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS CHAYEI SOROH 5771 BS"D
Ch. 24, v. 1: "VaAvrohom zo'kein boh ba'yomim" - And Avrohom was old coming with the days - Rabbeinu Bachyei wtires that it is the custom to read this parsha from the words "VaAvrohom zo'kein boh ba'yomim" until "V'lokachto ishoh livni mishom" for a choson on the day of his wedding. This serves as a reminder to the public to attend to the choson's needs and to point out that a man should not take a wife because of her beauty, as is stated in Mishlei 31:30, "Sheker hachein v'hevel ha'yofi," and also not for financial gain, as money has wings and readily flies away (see Mishlei 23:5), and also not to become a member of a family that can bring him to an exalted position or one of authority. If he were to marry for even one of these intentions he will surely stumble and be punished.
Rather, his intention should be solely for the sake of heaven. He should attempt to marry into a family that has elevated character traits, because children are drawn to the behaviour of their mother's family (see gemara B.B. 118a), just as the nature of wine is to absorb the flavour of the vessel in which it sits. (If you are pursuing a shiduch and get advice that is contrary to these words of Rabbeinu Bachyei, please bring it to the attention of your mentor.)
Ch. 24, v. 1: "VaShem beirach es Avrohom bakole" - And Hashem blessed Avrohom with everything - The gemara B.B. 16b offers an interpretation of these words to mean that Hashem blessed Avrohom with a daughter whose name was Bakole. How is a daughter indicated in these words?
Tosefta B'choros 6:3 says that if a man is single and has a son to marry off, the father's getting married takes precedence. However, this is only true of he has not yet fulfilled the mitzvoh of "pru urvu," having at least one son and one daughter. If he has a son and a daughter then his son takes precedence. Avrohom was at this point in time a widower, so why did he send off Eliezer in pursuit of a wife for his son Yitzchok before he pursued marriage for himself? We must conclude that he also had a daughter. Since this verse is a prelude to his pursuing a wife for his son we must conclude that the blessing of "Bakole" is that he also had a daughter. (Imrei Vinoh)
Ch. 24, v. 1: "VaShem beirach es Avrohom bakole" - And Hashem blessed Avrohom with everything" - The Admor Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov of Sadigura explains the words, "V'dorshei Hashem lo yach's'ru kol tov" to mean "v'dorshei Hashem lo yach's'ru," those who pursue Hashem lack nothing. This is because "kol tov," everything that happens to them is accepted as being for their good. Applied to our verse, we can say that this was Avrohom's blessing, "bakole," with the understanding that that KOL is TOV. (Likutei Bosor Likutei)
Ch. 24, v. 4: "Ki el artzi v'el moladti seileich" - Rather to my land and to my birthplace shall you go - Rashi on 22:20 writes that Avrohom received a prophecy that Rivkoh was just born and that she would become Yitzchok's wife, so why was he so obscure with Eliezer, only mentioning the place to look for a wife without clearly spelling out that it was Rivkoh who was of this and this age that he wanted as a wife for his son?
Rashi on Bmidbar 16:7 writes that because Korach saw in a prophetic vision that Shmuel would be his descendant he had the temerity to attempt an uprising against Moshe. The B'eir Yoseif writes that he would have been much better off had he not had this prophecy and he would never challenged Aharon's heaven-appointed position. Similarly, the gemara Brochos 10a relates that King Chizkihohu did not want to pursue marriage because he received a prophecy that if he would have children they would go on a bad path. He was admonished by the prophet to fulfill the mitzvoh of "pru urvu" and not involve himself in "celestial hidden matters."
Although Avrohom received the prophecy that his daughter-in-law would be Rivkoh, he did not want to act on it in a direct manner, but rather, pursue the path of "Tomim ti'h'yeh im Hashem Elokecho." (Rabbi Y.Z. Pollack)
Alternatively, the Ben Ish Chai in his preface to the gemara Kidushin writes that the pursuit of finding a marriage partner is often so difficult simply to make the two marriage partners appreciate each other. If it would be a simple matter with no effort expended they would more readily take each other for granted. Although Yitzchok himself was not involved in the activities and negotiations, nevertheless, when he was apprised of all the effort expended he surely was very appreciative of the great find of a marriage partner that he had. This would not have been so if Avrohom would have flatly stated to Eliezer to fetch the preordained Rovkoh as a wife for Yitzchok. (n.l.)
Ch. 24, v. 57: "Nikra lanaaroh v'nishaloh es pihoh" - We will call the maiden and ask her opinion - Rashi says that we derive from this that we do not bring a woman into marriage unless it is with her consent. The M.R. here replaces the word "naaroh" with "y'somoh."
According to the text of the M.R. all is well understood. The M.R. follows the opinion that Rivkoh was a minor and her father could give her in marriage. Besuel was hesitant to do so, as is clear from earlier, and as explained in Rashi he died because of his reluctance. At this point we have a minor orphan, whom the halacha dictates may marry conditionally, meaning that if she agrees to a marriage it goes forward, and upon her reaching the age of majority she may opt out. This is why at this juncture it is the first time it was suggested that she be asked. (Dvash V'cholov)
Ch. 24, v. 63: "Va'yeitzei Yitzchok losuach baso'deh" - And Yitzchok went out to express prayers in the field - The Chizkuni cited the medrash that says that Yitzchok went out of Gen Eden, where he was for the previous three years. Some explain that his father Avrohom had actually partially lacerated his throat at the Akeidoh and rendered him a treifoh, so he was sent to Gan Eden where the regular rules of nature are somewhat suspended, and it was only there that he was able to recover. In any case, the first thing he did was offer his prayers to Hashem. We might simply say that now that he was released from the "spiritual hospital" he offered thanks. Another insight might be that although being in Gan Eden is a spiritual delight, since it is an elevated spiritual experience above and beyond the physicality of our world, it is not the prime situation into which Hashem has placed mankind to serve him. Therefore, immediately upon release Yitzchok davened to Hashem in the regular physical world, and in a field at that, where farming or grazing is usually done, to show that serving and connecting with Hashem through prayer is preferable when done outside of Gan Eden. (n.l.)
Ch. 24, v. 63: "Va'yeitzei Yitzchok losuach baso'deh" - And Yitzchok went out to express prayers in the field - The gemara Brochos 26b says that these words are the basis for our minchoh prayers, which Yitzchok instituted. The name for our morning prayers, shacharis, is well understood, as it is recited in the morning, shachar, and maariv/arvis as well, because it is recited in the erev. Why does our afternoon prayer carry the appellation "minchoh?" Tosfos Yom Tov in his commentary on mishnayos Brochos 4:1 says that this name is taken from its timing, when the sun sets, "menuchas hashemesh" (see Tosfos on the gemara P'sochim 107a).
A GUTTEN SHABBOS KODESH. FEEL FREE TO DISTRIBUTE BY COPY OR ELECTRONICALLY.
FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED. TO SUBSCRIBE, KINDLY SEND REQUEST TO: SHOLOM613@ROGERS.COM
Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues
This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to email@example.com