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Ever Thankful | A Guest Post

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

Parshas Chayei Sara
Ever Thankful

One can help but be amazed by the amazing lessons for life taught to us by our avos and recorded for posterity as a limud for us throughout Sefer Bereishis. One phenomenal lesson is taught and reinforced again in Parshas Chaya Sara.

As Avraham laden with grief upon the passage of his beloved wife, Sarah Imanu, heads to Chevron to purchase to secure a burial place for Sarah Imanu. Filled with grief he approaches Bnei Cheis seeking to purchase the Mearas Hamachpayla. He explains his plight and the Bnei Cheis say to him, do not worry no one here will hold back in providing you a burial plot for your deceased. Efron too, the leader of the Bnei Cheis tells him hasadeh nasatee lach, the plot is yours…k’vor meisecha. Avraham’s response to their words and seeming benevolence is (23:12) vayishtachu Avraham lifnei am haaretz, Avraham bowed to the people.

The Medrish Raba uses this episode to teach a halacha and says mikan lomdim shemodim al besurah tova-we are supposed to give thanks on hearing good tidings. Interestingly, Avraham had not yet finished negotiating with Efron nor had he yet aquired the Mearas Hamachpayla still the very fact that he heard they were receptive to his idea was enough for him to bow and give thanks. Avraham was so conscious of expressing appreciation for everything that transpired that even in his grief while still an onain he stopped and gave thanks with the optimistic belief that things were going to work out.

This notion is so vital to the lessons of Parshas Chayei Sara that it is repeated again to let us know how crucial this attitude is to our outlook. Read…


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. Read…


Drawing From The Well of Torah | A Guest Post

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

Well at Home

The tale of Eliezer’s search for a wife for Yizchok is replete with important messages still relevant today. Significantly, the spot where Eliezer stopped to pray is the same location where Yaakov Avinu discovered Rachel and where Moshe Rabbeinu was introduced to his wife Tzippora. It is the be’er, the communal well. It is interesting to note that two of our patriarchs, Yitzchak and Yaakov as well as Moshe Rabbeinu, each met their life’s partner in an identical venue. What message is being imparted by this “coincidence”? Read…