Since there are no Rabbi Frand shiurim on the Parsha until Elul, I would like to substitute a vort from other Rabbanim each week, rather than leaving the blog without a vort for shabbos. This week, I am attempting to repeat a vort heard from R' Eli Mansour as recorded on www.learntorah.com. Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce the 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 the maggid shiur.
Parshas Eikev begins with a list of tremendous berachos that Moshe tells the Jews will come to fruition if they will listen to Hashem's commandments. Among the berachos is the promise that Hashem will remove all illness from the Jews (Devarim 7:15).
The gemara asks - what kind of sickness is this? The gemara answers in the name of Rav - it is the ayin hara which will be removed.
R' Mansour asked - what is ayin hara. He answered by making reference to a gemara in Berachos 20 which talked about R' Yochanan who was asked why he was not concerned about ayin hara. R' Yochanan answered that he was from the tribe of Yosef who cannot be touched by ayin hara. But why are they exempt from ayin hara?
R' Mansour answered by quoting rabbanim who offered the following explanation. If a person sees another person's wealth he should recognize that it is from Hashem. However, if the person is impressed with the object, he detaches the item from Hashem as he gives the recipient the credit for the object instead of recognizing it as from Hashem. At this point, the ayin hara can attach to the object unless the object can be reconnected with Hashem. How is this accomplished? By saying baruch Hashem - by attributing the success or the item to Hashem and not the owner of the object.
R' Mansour then quoted from Parshas Ekev again where it states that a person may have great wealth and think that he himself is responsible for it (Devarim 8:12-17). The pasuk immediately says thereafter that the man must remember that it all comes from Hashem.
Yosef had mastered the art of recognizing Hashem and reconnecting items with Hashem. When Pharaoh had Yosef brought down to him to interpret the dream, Pharaoh tested Yosef. He told Yosef (Bereishis 41:15), I had a dream and no one can interpret it, but I heard that you can. While a normal person would accept the praise (especially when seeing the king), Yosef does the opposite - he tells Pharaoh its not from me, its from Hashem (Berishis 41:16).
Pharaoh then tells the whole dream to Yosef and then tries to test him again by saying that none of his advisers can interpret the dream. Yosef passes the test by responding to Pharaoh in every pasuk that it comes from Hashem. (Bereishis 41:24-25).
When R' Yochanan responds that he is from Yosef (which he clearly is not since he descends from Yehuda) he is saying -- I learned from Yosef's ways and much like one who teaches Torah to another is like his father, so too I am Yosef's son.
R' Mansour then asked - where did Yosef learn this from? He answered that it was learned from Yaakov. When Yaakov came to meet Esav, Esav observes Yaakov and asks who are these women and children who are here with you. Yaakov resists the urge to say they are mine, instead he says these are what Hashem has graciously given me (Bereishis 33:5).
This is the lesson to us, that when someone comes and praises you for your possessions, give credit to Hashem and you will avoid the impact of the ayin hara.
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