subscribe.gif (2332 bytes)

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

This parsha sheet is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan,Z"L.May it be a merit for his soul.


"I (G-D) will bless those who bless you (Abraham), and those that curse you I will curse. " (12:3)

G-d is bestowing on Abraham a special distinction, namely those that bless Abraham will be blessed while those that curse Abraham will be cursed. However, the wording of the verse is odd. Its inverted? When it comes to the blessing it starts off with G-d blessing those that bless while regarding the curse it starts off with those that curse?It should follow the same trend,as follows: "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those that curse you". I would like to propose the following answer, Bezrat Hashem:It states in Medrash Rabba Gen, 1:10 as to why does the Torah start with a Beit (The second letter of the alphabet).The Medrash answers that because this letter begins the word in Hebrew for blessing, namely Baruch. (Since Baruch starts with Beit, so too the Torah starts with Beit.) (End of Quote). This teaches us that G-d had created the world with the notion of bestowing blessings, not curses on to the Universe.Therefore, when the Torah discusses Abraham being a sourse for blessing to whomever blesses him, it starts off saying , "I (G-d) will bless....." emphasing G-ds initial intent when creating the Universe, yet in regard to "cursing" its only something post facto (after the fact). If someone curses Abraham, then that person will be cursed only by force, not initially. Yet , we find that G-d is in essence making Abraham into a catalyse for either blessings or otherwise. Why? What does the Torah want to teach us ? I would like to propose an original answer, Bezrat Hashem: G-d wants Abraham himself to be a source of blessing to the world in keeping with the intial intent of creation.Abraham was a paragon in the performance of good deeds. People witnessing Abraham's behavior would inevitably bless him. This is a natural outcome of kindness and graciousness.This in essence made Abraham keenly aware of his very own deeds, and its impact and influence on society.We must also be a source for blessing to the world, namely by being examples of righteousness, honesty and kindness. This distinction of being a source of blessing to the world was not only bestowed on Abraham, but on Abraham's children (the Jewish People).When we perform good deeds , then we also allow G-d's blessings to flow freely from the very blessings bestowed upon us from onlookers who witness our own righteousness. The Torah is teaching us to be keenly aware of our deeds, will they bring blessings ,or otherwise? Have a good Shabbos


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
send mail to

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

Feedback is Appreciated at