שבת כ' בתשרי תש"פ 19/10/2019
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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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  • 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

Recurring Camels

“The servant took ten camels from the camels of his master (Avraham)” (24:10).

Yosef Tropper 12/11/2009 10:14

It is interesting and bizarre to note the dominance of one animal throughout the Parsha. Over and again the Torah mentions the camel! The Torah felt that it was necessary to mention the details of the mere mode of transportation eighteen times! What is going on here?

It would seem that the camel offers an important lesson for us to learn. Let us delve into this.

Avraham sent Eliezer to find a worthy wife for Yitzchok. The criteria were clear and uncompromising. She had to be a true Ba’alas Chessed, one who possessed a passion for performing kindness for others. In fact, that is the theme of the entire Parsha. Avraham took great care to bury Sarah with utmost respect and dignity. This is the ultimate kindness. Rivkah was chosen to be the mother of Klal Yisrael because of her kind heart and actions. She lived to do chessed for others.

There is one vital point of clarification that is necessary for us to understand. Kindness is only true and long-lasting if it stems from self-appreciation and respect. One who thinks lowly of himself and thus feels that everyone else deserves his help is not a true Ba’al Chessed. Yes, he may share his time and efforts with the world, but he is forgetting to do chessed with the most important person: himself! He is a rag and a pushover, not a Ba’al Chessed. Inevitably, he will run out of steam and will burn out and no longer be able to give to others. This is not what Hashem wants. True chessed starts with a healthy sense of self-respect and self-caring. From that spills forth genuine care, love and help to others. This way, the giver remains healthy and has much strength to share with others in need. That is true chessed.

Now for the camels. Camels are one of the most useful devises utilized for traveling long distances. Their bodies are designed for it. They use up very little water as they move and sweat minimally in order to preserve their energy and water supply. Indeed, they can transport people for days on end without stopping.

They are the ultimate “givers”. In fact, their very Hebrew name, גמל, Gamal, means “to give!” However, there is one catch. You first have to fill them up. Before your journey, you must allow them to drink and fill up their hump with an average of 26 to 40 gallons of water. They are the true Ba’al Chessed. They fill themselves up first and then dedicate all of their efforts in order to help others.

So why 18 times? I suggest that it corresponds to the 18 times that the Torah says the word “Man” before Adam was given his wife, Chavah. The Bartenura and Rashi (Avos 5:21) learn from here the source that one should marry at age 18. I connect the two occurrences of 18 and wish to learn that one should not get married until he is a true Ba’al Chessed. This is, in fact, the reason that Yitzchok and Rivkah were now united! The only thing left to explain is why the camel is a non-Kosher animal?! This I leave for you to decipher...

Thus, the camel has been shown to be very appropriate and amazingly in line with the entire theme of the Parsha. Chessed is beautiful; it starts with caring for yourself first and expands outward to the world!

Yosef Tropper
closetotorah.com