Friday, November 24, 2006

Parshas Toldos

"And may G-d give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness [riches] of the land, and abundance of grain and wine." (Sefer Bereishis, 27:28)

Since this is the beginning of father Yitzchak's blessing to his son Yaakov, the fact that the verse starts off with the word "And", as if he has already said something to him. Rashi answers that the extra Vav/and comes to teach us that "Yitein, Yachzor, v'Yitein", that Hashem gives, and gives again. A simple reading of the Rashi tells us that Hashem gives us bracha in small increments, as opposed to in one large portion. But, what's the difference whether we get the bracha all at once, or intermittently?

The Be'er Mayim Chaim, in trying to answer this question, first asks a question about the punishment of the snake for enticing Chava. The punishment, as it is stated, was that the snake was to live without legs, eating dirt for all of eternity. For all of us, this would be a horrible punishment. But for a snake, an animal that can eat dirt, this doesn't sound like a bad deal - after all, it's an eternity of food! Answers the Be'er Mayim Chaim: this punishment was effectively ending the relationship between the snake and G-d. Sure, the snake was set for life; but it was given in one lump sum, thus allowing Hashem to withdrawal his influence in the snake's life. But us, who must constantly daven and ask for our sustenance, we are able to keep up our relationship with Hashem.

This is exactly the point in the bracha that Yitzchak gives Yaakov. He wants that his son should constantly have a relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. The lesson for all of us is an obvious one. Sure, G-d can give us everything we need in one fell swoop, but that would eliminate any relationship we have with G-d. If we fail to keep up this relationship with G-d, we're no better than the snake; and it was him who G-d decreed an eternity of G-dlessness.

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