Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Chaye Sarah

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.

R' Frand began the vort by recounting the story of Avraham and his interaction with Efron which runs the entire first aliyah of the parsha. R' Frand noted that in Bereishis 23:16, Ephron's name is spelled two different ways, once with a vuv and once without. R' Frand observed that while many words in the Torah are sometimes spelled malei or chasser, it is unique that the words are spelled differently in the same pasuk.

R' Frand quoted the Medrash which writes that Efron was a person who was stingy and while he did not know that the Torah would reflect this personality trait in the spelling of his name, it does teach us a lesson.

R' Frand quoted the Alter M'Kelem who tied this into a story involving R' Yonasan Aibshetz who was involved in a debate with world scholars. They believed that an animal could be taught to act and behave like a human, but he argued otherwise. The scholars took a cat and trained it to walk on its hind legs and carry a waiter's tray. This took some time, but once they completed the task, they made a party and invited R' Yonasan to attend. When R' Yonasan arrived the cat was serving as a waiter. But soon thereafter, R' Yonasan took out his snuff box which (unbeknownst to him) also had a small mouse in the box. When R' Yonasan opened the box, the mouse jumped out and the cat returned to its natural state and chased the mouse on all fours. 

The Alter explained that Efron pretended to be regal and magnanimous, initially offering Avraham the cave for free. But later in the story he asked Avraham to pay the value of 400 shekel and in specific form of payment. Thus Efron was exposed as being money hungry and the second  time that his name was written in teh pasuk it was spelled chasser, because his true nature was being stingy and lacking the personality trait of generosity.

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