Thursday, November 09, 2006

Parshas Vayeira

Vayeira, 18:9:

.ויקח חמאה וחלב ובן הבקר אשר עשה ויתן לפניהם והוא עמד עליהם תחת העץ ויאכלו:

"He took butter, milk, and the calf he had prepared, and set it before them. He stood over them under the tree, and they ate."

The Kedushas Levi questions what exactly the Torah is teaching us by telling us that Avraham was "omed aleihem/stood over" them, who in this case were the angels that had come to visit Avraham. Explains the Berditchever: a person is considered a "mehaleich", or one who moves, by virtue of the fact that a person can move to a higher or lower madreiga/spiritual level based on his actions. Do mitzvos - higher madreiga; do aveiros, lower madreiga. However, a malach/angel, is called an "omed", or one who stands, by virtue of the fact that they are "standing still"; regardless of what they do, they are stuck on one spiritual level. They have a great job as messengers of G-d, but they have no opportunity to better or worsen their status.

Really, since Avraham is considered a "mehalaich", the pasuk should've said that he was "mehalaich aleihem", but by using the term "omed", he is using the term that should be used for an angel. Concludes the Kedushas Levi: Avraham Avinu, in order to make the Malachim feel at ease, lowered himself to their status. When doing this chesed for them, he is not viewed by the angels as superior; rather, he's just "one of the boys".

I think this is a tremendous mussar when doing Chesed, or when dealing with people in general. When doing chesed, it's only natural that the person receiving the chesed feels below the person giving; for instance, one who receives tzedaka obviously feels inferior to the person giving it. Or, just when dealing with people in general, when one is being spoken to, the person wants to feel at ease. This is certainly most likely possible when the giver brings himself to the level of the receiver. If one fails to heed this important lesson, they are prone to their Chesed being received with embarassment or their message received turned away at the doorstep.


Anonymous CPA said...

Wow beautiful I love that explanation.

9:28 AM, November 10, 2006


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