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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


" And Abram said, My Lord, Hshem /Elokim: What can You give me seeing that I go childless, and the steward of my house is Damesik Eliezer? ..............And see my steward inherits me ..........." (15:2-3)

Abraham is beseeching G-d for children who he will pass on to them the traditions of believing in one G-d. A question can be asked as follows: Why does Abram even mention his steward Damesik Eliezer in this regard? If Abraham is praying to G-d for children, why even entertain the very thought that Damasik Eliezer perhaps could possibly inherit him? Damasik Eliezer was only Abraham's trusty steward, but certainly not his heir. It seems very puzzling ! I would like to, Bezrat Hashem, propose an original answer . In Yoma 28b, Rabbi Elazer states the following concerning how to interpret the word "Damesik" regarding Eliezer: "Damesik is a contraction of 2 words in Hebrew "Doleh Umashkeh", which means, he (Eliezer) drew and gave to drink of the Torah of his master (Abraham)." (end of quote) There was something very unique about Eliezer in his willingness to teach the Torah of Abraham to others. Chazal (Sages) use the language of "drawing" (Dolah) as an expression referring to Eliezer. It seems that Eliezer had the ability to draw Torah knowledge from his master Abraham, and to also provide it as a "beverage" to whomever was thirsty for Torah knowledge. Eliezer was seemingly unselfish in this regard, and it was to his praise. It is for this very reason , Abraham, had entertained the notion that perhaps Eliezer is worthy to inherit him in the event that he remained childless. Abraham saw in Eliezer 3 attributes that found favor in his eyes: (1) unselfishness, (2) the ability to draw Torah from him (Abraham), (3) the willingness to teach, but to teach in a way that quenches the thirst like a good beverage can.This was Eliezer's greatness as demonstrated by the name "Damesik". The words of the Sages are truly deep . Have a good Shabbos


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