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


" He lifted his (Abraham) eyes and saw,and behold 3 men (angels) are standing over him" (18:2)

Three men are approaching Abraham . According to Medrash Rabba(48:9) the 3 men appeared as a desert merchant, a produce merchant and a ship captain.Why did the angels appear specifically in these 3 disguises? These 3 "disguised" angels can perhapes represent the 3 pillars of the universe as enumerated in Avos 1:2, namely Torah, "Avodah" (work, meaning Prayer), and good deeds. The desert merchant represents Torah because the Torah was given in the desert, the produce merchant represents "Avodah"(work) because it takes much hard labor to produce fruits and vegetables, and the ship captain represents good deeds because the captain brings items readily found in one location to a location where these very same items are not found.The captain is filling that which is lacking which is what "Chesed" (Good Deeds) are all about.However, there is a very important lesson to be learned from these angels based on the following Mishnah in Avos(4:11): Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov says:"He who performs 1 Mitzvah gains for himself 1 advocate ( in the heavenly court).............................................".When these angels came to visit Abraham, they came disguised in the 3 types of "service" to Hashem. Yet, in all actuality they were really angels. In the same manner when a person performs a Mitzvah, there is really lurking underneath an angel created by that very deed that is an advocate for that person in the Heavenly Courts. The "3 angels" are teaching us that we must fully understand and appreciate that when we perform Mitzvath we are actually creating advocates for ourselves. Just as the angels were disguised in Mitzvath, so to are our Mitzvath disguised as advocating angels. This very idea can give us a better appreciation of the MItzvath that we do. The stronger the Mitzvah, the stronger the Advocate angel. Have a good Shabbos


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