Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Chaye Sarah

The following is a brief summary of some of the thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts 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.

R' Frand noted that Parshas Chaye Sarah contains a very detailed story about Eliezer finding a wife for Rivka. The story is 67 pesukim long and is repetitive at time. R' Frand explained that Chazal write that it is nicer to hear the conversation of the avos in place of the Torah of their children.

R' Frand quoted R' Aharon Kotler who said that the reason for the statement is that a halacha can be learned through reasoning, but Middos need to be observed and read.

R' Frand quoted Bereishis 24:2 wherein the Torah states that Eliezer was the Moshel (ruler) over all that he had. The Medrash explains that he controlled his yetzer. The gemara goes one step further and says that his name is Eliezer because he would portion out and "water" people with Avraham's Torah.

But even though Eliezer was a great man, Avraham tells him to go to find a wife for Yitzchak in Aram Naharayim. Eliezer asks - what if she won't come? Avraham responds, it does not matter, if she won't come you are absolved from this promise.

R' Frand quoted a pasuk from Yirmiyah which says that Canaan has false scales. The Medrash explains that this refers to Eliezer and that Eliezer was measuring, trying to figure a way that Yitzchak could marry Eliezer's daughter. The Medrash further explains that Avraham said to Eliezer that there is no way that his daughter could marry Eliezer because Eliezer descends from Canaan which is an Arur and Avraham is a Baruch.

R' Frand said that there are two conflicting lessons which can be learned: (1) Eliezer was a tzaddik and taught the Torah of Avraham and (2) Eliezer could not be trusted as to his thinking of his own daughter for Yitzchak.

How can these be synthesized? The answer is that when someone is personally involved they are a nogeah b'davar - they are conflicted and it warps the person's perspective. Even though he was a Tzaddik, he could not divorce himself from his personal feelings.

R'  Frand then taught a second (connecting) lesson from the story. The Torah states at Bereishis 24:31 "Bo Baruch Hashem." Chazal teach that Eliezer who is an Arur was changed from an Arur to a Baruch. How did this happen? Because Eliezer was told that he was an Arur and his daughter was not good enough and still he followed Avraham's mission and he quickly took to the task of finding the wife for Yitzchak. He decided to do the job to the best of his ability and he rose above his personal conflict.  By doing this, Eliezer left behind the Arur and was transformed into being a Baruch.

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