Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Lech Lecha

The following is a brief summary of some of 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. 

In Bereishis 15, Hashem and Avraham have a dialogue wherein Avraham seeks reassurance that he will have children who will inherit the land. In Bereishis 15:5, the Torah recites that Hashem took Avraham outside and told him to attempt to count the stars. Towards the end of the pasuk, the Torah writes "Vayomer Lo, Koh Yihiyeh Zarecha."

R' Frand quoted R' Meir Shapiro who asked why did the Torah need to say "Vayomer Lo" (and He said to him)? It was obvious that Avraham and Hashem were in the middle of a conversation, so why did the Torah need to announce that Hashem spoke to Avraham?

R' Shapiro answered that there was more to the story, as there was actually a gap of time. When Hashem told Avraham to go out and count the stars, Avraham actually went out and started counting, even thought the task would have been impossible to properly complete. When the Torah writes that Hashem said to Avraham like this will be your children, Hashem was telling Avraham - you will have children like this - children who will see tasks and recognize that they are incredibly difficult, but they will not shy away from them.

R' Frand illustrated this point by identifying Rabbanim who came to America post WWII and started yeshivos such as R' Mottel Katz who started Telshe where the initial set of boys came out of public school. Or R' Aharon Kotler who came to Lakewood where the boys did not have much background. He included a story about the beginning of Ner Israel where the Rosh Yeshiva ztl envisioned building a dormitory when there were only eight boys in the school. Similarly the Ponovicher Rav saw where he wanted to build a Yeshiva in Israel and was told that he was dreaming and he responded - I may be dreaming, but I am not sleeping.

This was the power of Avraham - to take on what seemed like daunting tasks and not consider that they were too tough to tackle. Seeing this, Hashem explicitly says to Avraham - your children will have this trait as well.

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