Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha
This Torah thought is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan, Z"L.
"I (G-d) will remember My covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham....................................(26:42)A question can be asked as follows: Why is the order of the forefathers in reverse order,it should start with Abraham and end with Jacob? There is something about this reverse order which is very significant? I would like to propose an original answer, Bezrat Hashem.
It states in Pirkei Avos 1:2, the following :" Shimon Haztadik used to say, The world stands on 3 things-On the Torah, on serving G-d (prayer), and on acts of loving kindness." (END of Quote) These very 3 things represent the the forefathers:
It's interesting to note that the order of verse 26:42 is the same as the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos 1:2. The Torah is perhaps giving us a program ,or methodology to follow in our service to Hashem, and if we follow it we will then merit "Zechus Avos" (the tremendous merits of our forefathers). First, a person must study the Torah so that he will be able to know exactly what G-d wants from him. This takes much study and contemplation. Second, a person must pray to G-d for "Devine Help" so that he will be able to apply what he has learned properly. Proper application of the Mitzvoth are of paramount importance. Thirdly, a person must be benevolent and kindly to all people. This is perhaps the ultimate step. We find a very fascinating statement in Succah 49b as follows: "Acts of kindness are greater than charity because acts of kindness are preformed to rich and poor alike. Whereas charity is only done for the benefit of the poor." This statement is very significant. A person must see "ZALEM ALOKIM" (G-dliness) in all people whether rich or poor, it does not really matter. This is precisely the reason why acts of kindness are greater than charity.Ultimately, a person must see the grace and G-dliness in all people. When a person reaches that stage, it is truly a great achievement and level to be on. It's a 3 step program, each significant in its own right. At times most of us are looking for a program that will put us on the right track, and we do not know where to look. It's simple: study, pray and see the grace and beauty in all people. This is the methodology of our great forefathers, why should it not be ours as well? When this is achieved, we can then be recipients of the tremendous merit of Abraham , Isaac and Jacob. Have a good Shabbos
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