Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Vayera

The following is a brief summary of a thought said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce this vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

The first pasuk of this week's parsha mentions that when Hashem appeared to Avraham (through the angels) he was sitting in Elonei Mamrei. Rashi asks - why is the city named after Mamrei? Rashi answers - because Mamrei gave Avraham advice to go forward with the bris milah.

R' Eliyahu Mirzachi asks - Hashem told Avraham to get a bris milah, why would Avraham need to check this with Mamrei?

R' Frand brought two answers to the question - both from the Maharal. The first answer of the Maharal is that Avraham consulted with Mamrei so that people will not say that Avraham made a rash decision. By so doing, Avraham showed that he thought this out and made a calculated decision to go forward with the bris. The Maharal says that this can also be seen in that it took Avraham three days to get to Har Hamoriah for the akeidah. By taking his time to get there, Avraham showed that the akeidah was not a rash decision and that he had deliberated over the three days that it took to get there.

The second answer of the Maharal is that friends consult with one another before they act. If a person decides that he is going to move, its only right that he goes to his friends and let them know what he is doing, so that they don't find out through others. This is the way that friends act. Thus Avraham consulted with Mamrei.

R' Frand then quoted R' Ya'akov Kaminetsky who explains that when Avraham got the command to do a bris milah, he was concerned. Why? R' Kaminestsky explained by quoting a gemara in Sanhedrin which describes a conversation that the satan had with Avraham when Avraham was going to the akeidah. The satan says to Avraham - how can you do this - you will destroy your life's work and drive off all those that you drew close by bringing your son as a sacrifice. Avraham responded to the satan - you have a good question, but I will follow Hashem.

R' Kaminetsky said that the same concept applied by the bris milah. Avraham had no doubt about the bris. However, Avraham was concerned that those who were observing would say that the bris was a cruel act or commandment from Hashem. Avraham thought to himself - maybe I should do this privately so that people will not be aware and question. Therefore, Avraham went to Mamrei to ask how he should do the bris. Mamrei answered - this is Hashem who saved you from the fiery furnace - don't ask, just do the bris.

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