Defining Greatness | A Guest Post

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A guest post by Rabbi Aaron Fink (my father), Dean of Ateres Bais Yaakov in Monsey NY. Part of a weekly Dvar Torah (Torah “Thought”) series.

Parshas Chayei Sara

“Vayigdol”

As Eliezer Eved Avraham introduces himself to Rivka’s father and brother, he speaks of his mission to find a wife for Yitzchok Avinu. He tells them, “Va’Hashem Beirach es Adonee Meod Vayigdol” – that Hashem had blessed Avraham with much and he has become great.” Indeed, Eliezer reports that Avraham Avinu has become wealthy and achieved much fame and fortune. However, the words of the Posuk seem slightly redundant. Wouldn’t it be enough to say that, “Va’Hashem Beirach es Adonee Meod”—Hashem has blessed Avraham with much.

What is the word “Vayigdol” coming to add to the lavish description of wealth and riches described in the Posuk? The answer given offers a powerful lesson.

It is true that Avraham had become quite wealthy. All of Hashem’s bountiful blessings had been bestowed upon him, but that was only part of the message Eliezer wanted to convey. The vital element of Avraham’s legacy is found in the “Vayigdal”—and he became and is still becoming greater. The message Eliezer was transmitting about his master to all of us was that Avraham Avinu never stopped growing! Even after the Akeida and his ten nisyonos, despite the passing of his beloved wife Sarah Imeinu, and after having amassed world-wide fame and fortune, Avraham Avinu sought and found new opportunities and venues to use the gifts presented to him by Hakadosh Baruch Hu to be Mikadesh Shem Shamayim.

This is the quintessential essence of our Jewishness—to emulate Avraham Avinu, to constantly grow spiritually. To continually climb the ladder of gedulah , one rung at a time. To recognize that all the gifts Hashem has bestowed upon us are merely tools for avodas Hashem and hisgalus HaShechina. When we live life with the mantra of “Vayigdol”- constant growth, we are worthy of our distinction as children of Avraham Avinu and can confidently call upon the Ribbono Shel Olam as the Magen Avraham, to give us His continued blessings.