Vayera - Say Little and Do Much

Sunday, October 21, 2018 · Posted in , , , ,

“Shammai said, make your Torah study fixed, say little and do much, and receive everyone with a cheerful countenance.” (Pirkei Avot)

Tzaddikim promise little and do much, while the wicked make big promises and do not even keep a minimum. 

All Avraham promised the angels was a little bread, but subsquently he served them a meal fit for a king for which he slaughtered three oxen and used nine sa'ah of flour. He also served them butter and milk. (Bereishit 18)

How do the tzaddikim know that one must promise little and do more? They imitate Hashem Himself. When He promised that He would judge the Egyptians as the end of the exile. He assured Avraham, "And also the nation whom they shall serve will I judge!" (Bereishit 15:14) The promise contained merely two letters - דן (I will judge) yet subsequently He brought Ten Plagues upon the Egyptians!

Vayera - Good Deeds

Hachnasat Orchim - Hospitality

Avraham, by means of his hospitality and teachings, drew tens of thousands of people to Hashem's service. (Rambam)

A person must constantly ask himself, "When shall my deeds equal those of my forefathers, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov?" (Tanna D'bai Eliyahu)

The lives of our forefathers are portrayed in the Torah to make us aware of our responsibility in life. Wherever we live, it is our duty to strengthen Yiddishkeit by maintaining Yeshivot and Batai Yaakov and helping to establish new ones. (Midrash Says)


Parashat Veyera | Vayera Pardes | Haftarah Vayera |

Lech Lecha - Bitachon

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 · Posted in , ,

How can one comprehend the fact that a Jew in the most miserable of situations nevertheless affirms, "Gam zu l'tovah! (It is all for the best!)"

It is a character trait inherited from our forefather Avraham who was unshakable in his bitachon (belief - trust) in Hashem. Even when exposed to famine, Avraham did not complain but trusted in Divine Providence. Hence his descendants in all generations were able to bear without despair the intolerable living conditions of the ghetto and the tyranny of the gentiles among whom they lived.

- Nefesh Hachayim

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