יום רביעי כ' באב תשע"ט 21/08/2019
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In Weekly Parsha

Considerate Consideration

“take bread, eat and then leave...” (18:5).

Yosef Tropper 04/11/2009 10:23

These words have always perplexed me. Avraham, the great patron of kindness, world famous for his generosity, speaks so seemingly harsh to his guests? He says, “eat and then please leave, promptly!” He doesn’t even invite them into his home?! What is going on here?!

To strengthen this question, I quote for you a story (see Sefer HaYashor (Vayeira) for more details) that happened with Avraham himself: Three years after he sent Yishmael away from his home, Avraham decided to go visit him. He promised Sarah that he would not even get off of his donkey. He arrived and Yishmael’s wife (she did not know who he was) answered the door to inform him that Yishmael was not home. Avraham asked her for some food and something to drink. She refused to invite him in or even to give him anything to eat or drink. Avraham gave her a message to relay to Yishmael when he returned home. “Please tell him that an old man visited from Canaan and he says you should replace the pegs of your tent”.

When Yishmael heard what had happened, he asked her for the details and was furious. He understood that Avraham was telling him that she was not a proper wife (why a wife is called “the peg of the tent” could be the topic of an entire article.

Suffice it to say that the peg is what holds and carries the entire tent! The Torah celebrates the power and greatness of our Nation’s women). He then divorced her and married someone that possessed the quality of kindness.

We clearly see from this incident that Avraham was a big fan of inviting his guests inside!

The Ramban provides a most relevant answer to this question. He states that Avraham’s words were chosen not as an inconsiderate unfriendly invitation, but rather, on the contrary, a most thoughtful and appropriate gesture. A good host does not get carried away with doing his act of chessed, kindness, rather, he focuses on the recipient and gives to him according to his comfort and needs!

Avraham and Sarah loved to have guests at their home. However, not at the expense of the guest’s precious time. Avraham saw that these three men arrived at his tent and were traveling through the desert at a fast pace. He did not want to slow them down from reaching their destination. Thus, instead of bringing them straight into his house and pressuring them to stay more than they would have wanted to, he made it clear and comfortable for them from the outset that he sees they are in a rush and if they just want to stay outside, grab a quick bite and get going, that is fine with him and Sarah.

Avraham’s chessed was the highest form, it was recipient-focused. Avraham constantly asked, “what and how will this kindness be best for you?!”

Sometimes we visit a sick person or try to offer a friend advice, but neglect to get the hint that they do not desire our “services” at this present moment. We get so caught up in doing chessed that we don’t realize that we aren’t even doing chessed!

Rabbeinu Bechayeh states that only two verses in the entire Torah begin with the word “and he planted.” They are (Bereishis [2:8, 21:33]), “Hashem planted Gan Eden, Paradise” and, “Avraham planted an orchard (for guests)”. This shows that the road to Paradise is paved through caring for others.

Let us emulate Avraham and develop our emotional intelligence to be sensitive to other people’s precise needs so that we too can help them in the most considerate way!
Yosef Tropper
ClosetoTorah.com